The Price of Nobelity

Less than a losing football coach, apparently:

DaveInTokyo investigates using UC public data

“UC Berkeley top 10 earners

Jeff Tedford HEAD COACH 5 $2,338,409.39
Michael J. Montgomery HEAD COACH 5 $1,606,588.82
Joanne Boyle HEAD COACH 5 $658,691.22
Anne Saunders Barbour ATHLETICS MANAGER 4 $470,017.06
Robert J. Birgeneau CHANCELLOR $428,712.84
Andrew M Isaacs ADJ PROF-ACAD YR-BUS/ECON/ENG $399,582.00”

From above:

George Akerlof, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2001. 2007 salary (higher than 2009 so I used that):$266,359 – Salary rank at UC Berkely (equiv for 2009): 73
George Smoot, Nobel prize in Physics 2006. 2008 salary (higher than 2009): $160,650 – Salary rank at UC Berkely (equiv for 2009): 630

Academic salaries are relatively fungible as these things go.

Of course we all want to believe that a certain physics Nobel laureate negotiated a “my salary must always be at least $1 higher than the next highest faculty salary” contract, when moving to a new institution, and they failed to realise that their football coach was on the faculty…


  1. #1 Robert S.
    October 26, 2011

    There are doctors there too, but I wonder if the numbers are the sum of their teaching, various directorship, and medical billing numbers. I guess its good(?) to see a top transplant surgeon getting paid within an order of magnitude of a coach with a not so hot record though.

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    October 26, 2011

    The purpose of collegiate football, AFAICT, is to provide something that will entice alumni to visit the campus and (hopefully) make a substantial donation. Whether the additional donations due to having a football team are enough to offset the net cost of having a football team is a good question at most universities (there are O(10) top programs where one need not ask since the football team is a profit center), and I suspect nobody has bothered to look. It’s just an old tradition that you have to have football at a major university–remember, the Ivy League was created for the purpose of football, and even MIT has a football team. Some schools have dropped football over the years–University of Chicago and Boston University, to name two–and they don’t seem to have hurt themselves by doing so.

  3. #3 ryano
    October 27, 2011

    I heard this story many times and had to check.

    Steven Weinberg’s Salary: $531,008
    Mack Brown’s Salary: $5,166,667

    Maybe they just took them off of the faculty.


  4. #4 Steinn Sigurdsson
    October 28, 2011

    I feel rather sad now…

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