According this site https://www.higheredjobs.com/salary/salaryDisplay.cfm?SurveyID=28

"Legal Professions and Studies" and "Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services" are paid higher than faculty in more research oriented fields such as engineering.

It is because of:

  • More demands for law and business faculty and graduates
  • Higher tuition in such fields
  • They bring more grants to universities
  • other points?
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    Because they have to teach law students and business students, respectively. – Corvus May 27 '15 at 21:52
  • @Corvus These 2 fields doesn't appear to be the hardest fields – Thomas Lee May 27 '15 at 21:59
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    @ThomasLee That's a knock on the students, not the difficulty of the field. – Fomite May 27 '15 at 22:20
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    @ThomasLee -- In general, pay is not related to how difficult a field is, either in academia or in industry. – MrMeritology May 27 '15 at 23:00
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    At least in Europe, Law and Business generally do not bring in a lot of grant money. STEM fields win in this category easily, every year. – xLeitix May 28 '15 at 7:31

I believe that there are (at least) two main reasons for this:

  • Law and business faculty generally have alternative job prospects that pay extremely well. That means that universities have to pay enough to compete with those alternatives in order to attract and keep their faculty.

  • They both generally teach in professional schools that are not part of the main university (at least in the US). Professional schools (especially top ones) usually have high tuition, high enrollment, and healthy donor bases (due to the aforementioned high potential income), and therefore they have very strong revenue streams. They also don't incur many of the costs that the rest of the university does (e.g. sports facilities, dorms, financial aid). Together, this means that they have significantly more resources to pay their faculty with.

  • 4
    To this fine answer I'll add this: There are greater financial benefits to professional schools who can hire "star" professors -- increased ranking, increased applications, increased donations -- all allowing higher tuition. Also: outside consulting relationships have positive spillover effects. The cost structure is different -- no labs, no large research staffs, no undergrad teaching load, etc. Likewise, revenue structure is different. There are many high profit ancillary programs offered by professional schools, e.g. executive MBA, "summer schools" for professionals, etc. – MrMeritology May 27 '15 at 23:14

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