There's bad news for faculty members in the American Association of University Professors' recently released annual report on academic salaries. While average salaries in 1996-97 rose 3 percent, the rate of inflation was slightly higher at 3.3 percent. The net result was a 0.3 percent decrease in faculty members' real wages. Report author Linda Bell, an associate professor of economics at Haverford College in suburban Philadelphia, tells The Scientist that last year's "moderate" 3.3 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was well in line with CPI increases in recent years. However, "that's not being reflected in faculty salaries. . . . Salaries aren't going up very fast." The decrease ends a trend that saw faculty members' real wages rise for three consecutive years. "The important thing is to watch that number and make sure we don't get consecutive years of declining numbers of real-wage faculty salaries," Bell explains....

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