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Subject: Salaries

Salaries

From: Naomi Kroll <naomi_kroll>
Date: Monday, April 28, 2003
Among the conservators at Midwestern institutions have who
contributed to the recent salary discussion, there seems to be a
perception that the lack of response to job postings in their
institutions is due to an unwillingness among recent graduates to
"humble" themselves to working in an institution less "prestigious"
than an east coast museum.  Based on the experiences of my
classmates (I graduated in 1998 from NYU), I would like to suggest
that there is a more significant reason for the lack of interest in
Midwestern positions, one not requiring an "attitude adjustment" on
the part of the aspiring conservator.  By the time they have
fulfilled the many requirements for admission into a graduate
conservation program (all on the east coast) and have completed the
program, many "young conservators" are in their mid-to-late thirties
and must take the needs of a partner, spouse, or family into
consideration, who by that time have become firmly east-coast based
if they were not already.

Anyone who makes the choice to not venture beyond the east coast for
personal reasons, of course, does so entirely at their own risk;
once this decision has been made, however, and a job or fellowship
attained, is it not reasonable to expect a salary commensurate with
the cost of living in that city?

Many of the salary postings seems to be about two separate problems,
the uneven geographical distribution of recently-trained
conservators and the lower compensation (relative to the cost of
living) that conservators on the east and west coast receive.  While
these phenomena are not unrelated, addressing them both in the same
breath clouds both important issues.

Naomi Kroll
Architectural Conservator
National Park Service


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