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Friday, May 23, 2014

Whackademia Quote: Overpaid University Presidents

     At the 25 public universities with the highest-paid presidents, both student debt and the use of part-time adjunct faculty grew far faster than at the average state university from 2005 to 2012, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies…a Washington, D.C. research group.

     The study, "The One Percent at State U: How University Presidents Profit from Rising Student Debt and Low-Wage Faculty Labor," examined the relationship between executive pay, student debt and low-wage faculty labor at the 25 top-paying public universities. The co-authors, Andrew Erwin and Marjorie Wood, found that administrative expenditures at the highest-paying universities outpaced spending on scholarships by more than two to one. And while adjunct faculty members became more numerous at the 25 universities, the share of permanent faculty declined drastically….

     Since the 2008 financial crisis, the report found, the leaders of the highest-paying universities fared well, largely at the expense of students and faculty….While the average executive compensation at public research universities increased 14 percent from 2009 to 2012, to an average of $544,554, compensation for the presidents of the highest-paying universities increased by a third, to $974,006, during that period.

     The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual survey of public university presidents' compensation, also released Sunday [May 18, 2014], found that nine chief executives earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2012-13, up from four the previous year, and three in 2010-11….But, the Chronicle found, chief executives were hardly alone among the highest-paid university officials. Athletic coaches made up 70 percent of the public university employees earning more than $1 million last year….

     As in several past years, the highest-compensated president, at $6,057,615 in this period, was E. Gordon Gee, who resigned from Ohio State last summer amid trustee complains about frequent gaffes. He has since become the president of West Virginia University….

     Others on the "most unequal" list were Pennsylvania State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan and the University of Washington.

Tamar Lewin, "Student Debt Grows Faster at Universities With Highest-Paid Leaders, Study Finds," The New York Times, May 18, 2014

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