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Salaries of presidents at private US colleges and universities
November 18, 2002 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Salaries of presidents at private US colleges and universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education releases results of country-wide survey (complete database available only with subscription). The salaries and benefits of presidents at public universities from previous report.
posted by shoos (20 comments total)

 
Ok. They make too much. Now, if we could have side by side the salaries of athletic coaches we would have something even more interesting.
posted by Postroad at 11:58 AM on November 18, 2002


Here
posted by jnthnjng at 12:00 PM on November 18, 2002


(scroll down for the handy charts)
posted by jnthnjng at 12:00 PM on November 18, 2002


As a current student at BU, I can say that the argument about rich presidents having a weaker voice is at least to a certain degree true. John Silber is without a doubt the most despised person on the Boston University campus. Almost the entire student body unanimously hates him (of course I can't speak for everyone - that's why I say almost...), and most the faculty aren't very big fans either. The reason isn't so much his salary as his backwards, Nazi ways, but people are always quick to point out he is the highest paid person at this institution. Most people here are hoping he resigns/gets fired/whatever, and everyone is praying that he doesn't become a full-time pres.
posted by swank6 at 12:27 PM on November 18, 2002


What interesting timing -- at my college, it was leaked several months ago that the board of trustees had awarded our president a million dollar bonus, to be given in 100,000 dollar installments over the next ten years. She already receives a $350,000 salary. And has just cut 11 low-level jobs. Many protests have ensued (two in the past week!).
posted by emyd at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2002


Those coaches can't touch the vice chancellor for investments at Vanderbilt at $3,217,311, or Stanford opthamology professor Edward Manche at $2,904,342 (from Chronicle article). So, no the presidents are not necessarily the ones raking in the most.
posted by shoos at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2002


Interesting post, thanks shoos. Leaves me wondering why we noble TA's are always told there just isn't enough money for us to get more than $900/month and no parking permit. Or maybe it leaves me wondering less than before.
posted by anyasar at 12:37 PM on November 18, 2002


People have this idea that academics as a career is a commitment to poverty. In fact, a college president is the CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation, and competition in the field for experienced and effective administrators is acute. Most educational institutions are not stock corporations, so there is no way to enhance compensation based on performance other than by bonus. Yes, that process is (just as) arguably corrupt (as in the business world), but it's all they have. The base salary will be in the mid six figures, and bonuses will seem to come out of nowhere.

At the lower end of academia, of course, it's very much a buyer's market -- many more aspiring teachers than there are full-time positions. Naturally, this forces salaries down.
posted by dhartung at 12:39 PM on November 18, 2002


Does anyone have a working login for the Chronicle of Higher Ed so I can read the rest of the accompanying links?

Great post.
posted by mathporn at 12:56 PM on November 18, 2002


Leaves me wondering why we noble TA's are always told there just isn't enough money for us to get more than $900/month and no parking permit

Because you're just a cost. The real job of university presidents is basically fundraising (provosts are there to be high academic officials), and TAs don't bring in multi-million dollar donations. As long as they're bringing in enough money, for whatever values of "enough" are relevant, their salaries are a nonissue.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:58 PM on November 18, 2002


I quickly learned that my college didn't operate anything like a creative, discerning place of higher learning - more like a large faceless corporation bent on bringing investment returns. (more, more, more freshman, faster, faster, faster)

Presidents are less adminstration and school visionaries as they are political figureheads for gleaning investments from companies and setting up profitable relationships between 'institution' and company.


To deal with the unusually high attrition rate of students at my school - instead of dealing with the source of the problem (lack of community and social events/activities causing students to feel overwhelmed and isolated) - instead! they kicked all of the upperclassmen off of campus housing so they could cram more freshman in.
(including turning the former 'common rooms' with microwave, kitchen, couches, etc into 3 person rooms)

But they did have pretty decent computer labs.
posted by cinderful at 2:24 PM on November 18, 2002


nice posts here. I have been teaching a one course thing this past semester--have not taught for some 10 years. When the head of humanities called me at home last night and said he had another course for me for next semester I told him that I would not work at the salary they paid so that he, the humanities director could make good bucks...no more would i subsidize the ignoble enterprise where increaingly, like companies in America, part time folks worked without benefits and for crappy pay so that the few full-timeers could have it made...check out Microsoft, for example. Not by chance Gates gave so much AIDS money to India and not to Africa!
posted by Postroad at 4:27 PM on November 18, 2002


My dad is a President at a state school (not on these lists). He works pretty damn hard and has to up with a lot of crap for his salary. College presidents that do their job well are worth every cent.
posted by tayknight at 5:31 PM on November 18, 2002


He works pretty damn hard and has to up with a lot of crap for his salary.

Sounds like the majority of university faculty, staff, postdocs, RA's, and TA's.
posted by shoos at 6:34 PM on November 18, 2002


Universities (especially private ones) are a business. These salaries are not unusual for top executives considering the revenues of the businesses. That's even more true for the coaches.
True, a school is different than most businesses. In theory they do have some sort of "academic mission" and their revenues depend much more on former customers giving them money than the product they sell. But they're still corporations. As long as people feel a degree is worth 35 grand a year, and some feel they are worthy of huge donations, most will remain profitable.
posted by sixdifferentways at 7:20 PM on November 18, 2002


The presence of money does not a business make. Schools are schools. Schools are fundamentally different from businesses. Pretending that schools are businesses is one of the biggest reasons that education in this country is often questionable at best (IMO).
posted by jnthnjng at 6:54 AM on November 19, 2002


I'm appalled by these numbers. I am a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Our less then esteemed among the student body, President (C.D. Mote) makes $350,000+ a year, plus housing and transportation. UMD at CP is the flagship school in the UMD System. Now the interesting thing is that the chancellor of this very system makes $375,000+ in annual salary, plus housing and transportation. Now what is the Chancellor's primary mission, get money from the state to give to the school.

All this for a school that is one of the top five most expensive public schools in the nation. Just last week the the chancellor announced before the university senate that once again student's already astronomically high tuition would have to be raised again.

How is that other public universities which have much high academic prestige have much lower tuition and are able to pay their university figureheads much less.

It's about time that the leaders of large public universities stop wasting the tax-payers and student's money. It's had enough to school today without having to worry about how we are going to pay for it.
posted by mhaw at 1:06 PM on November 19, 2002


Jnthnjng: Schools are fundamentally different from businesses.

How?

Most schools are non-profit, but they are businesses nonetheless. They develop, market, and sell products and services. They hire, compensate, manage, develop, and fire employees. They bill and service customers. They market and differentiate their offerings. They manage large investment portfolios. And so on. Business geeks call these activities "business processes;" they're what every business does, and they define what a business is. If you think a school is not a business, ask yourself whether you have too high an opinion of schools or too low an opinion of businesses.

A 130-year-old entity with $2.5B revenues, 32,000 employees, a $1B payroll, and 48,000 customers at $14,000 a pop is a business. The fact that it happens to be a university does not change that.

Pretending that schools are businesses is one of the biggest reasons that education in this country is often questionable at best

US universities are widely recognized as among the world's best. The best and brightest of planet Earth have long flocked to US universities. It's at the K-12 school level -- public K-12 schools -- where quality is shakiest.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 2:01 PM on November 19, 2002


I am a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Our less then esteemed among the student body, President (C.D. Mote) makes $350,000+ a year, plus housing and transportation.

I'm not sure why you'd really care one way or another about the qualities of the university president, bar one. Presidents aren't normally gigantically important policy-makers for the university; that's what boards of regents or visitors, etc, are for, but I suppose UMCP might just be weird in that respect. The president's big job is to be the university's public face, primarily to potential large donors, either individual or business. So long as he's bringing in a lot more than he costs, why would you care how much he's being paid? It's strictly positive-sum.

Just last week the the chancellor announced before the university senate that once again student's already astronomically high tuition would have to be raised again

~$6K/year ain't astronomical. At that price, the primary cost of college is still going to be foregone salary.

Why the hell didn't you just go to William and Mary or UVa and save a pile of cash?

It's about time that the leaders of large public universities stop wasting the tax-payers and student's money.

You're assuming that they're a net drain on the university's finances; in the real world they generally bring in a strong positive cash flow. It would be more expensive without them, especially for capital expenditures.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:32 PM on November 19, 2002


You're assuming that they're a net drain on the university's finances.

You'd hope that a university president with a salary of half a million would do more than just not be a net drain on finances.

in the the real world they generally bring in a strong positive cash flow.

That's the idea, at least. Whether or not it's demonstrably true is another story (I mean whether or not they bring in a strong positive cash flow better than any old corpse would.) Perhaps they're like a stock-picking monkey in a broadly bullish market.
posted by shoos at 11:26 PM on November 19, 2002


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