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U-M Prof On Sabbatical With $148k Salary Complains About Paying For Home Internet

At a time when Michigan’s unemployment rate is 14.8%, two University of Michigan professors took to social media to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on their work lives.

“Just realized that I am being asked to work at home as much as possible until the end of the year and so now I pick up all of the physical cost of my job (electricity, upgrading internet) with no raise or subsidy from the University. Those with child care duties-no compensation,” Pam Davis-Kean, a professor of psychology at U-M, tweeted July 29.

Kean was paid $133,882 in 2016-17 by U-M and saw her salary increase to $148,021 in 2019-20. Her U-M profile states, “Dr. Davis-Kean is not accepting students for the 2020-2021 year due to sabbatical. Please consider applying for 2021-2022.”

Betsey Stevenson, a professor of economics at U-M’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, replied to Kean’s tweet and mentioned a “real wage cut.”

“We have had a real wage cut but so have many, perhaps most, workers. The pain of covid is widespread and should be shared. So not to be unempathetic, but yes, we are being asked to do more, pay for more, and we should still be grateful for our privilege which is enormous,” Stevenson tweeted.

Stevenson’s salary has increased from $192,000 in 2016-17 to $230,339 in 2019-20, according to U-M records.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.