Physics professors, on the average, are paid higher salaries than their biology, chemistry, and mathematics counterparts. And full professors in all scientific disciplines tend to earn more in private colleges and universities than those in state-supported institutions. However, the scientists in more than one-third of those state-supported schools—including the physicists—would be making a lot less money than they do now if it weren’t for collective bargaining.

These are among the conclusions to be drawn from a salary report released last month by the Washington, D.C.-based College and University Personnel Association (CUPA). The report is based on a survey covering 1987-88 faculty pay scales associated with 49 disciplines—in both the sciences and humanities—at 272 state-funded colleges and universities.

According to the survey, pay rates vary with field (see chart at right), and they also vary according to the way in which contracts are negotiated. The state schools surveyed included 94 institutions—...

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