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Salaries of public college chiefs rise, median tops $400,000

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Replies to: Salaries of public college chiefs rise, median tops $400,000

  • matthewjohnsonmatthewjohnson Posts: 7 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Communism!! Am I right? get over it people they worked hard and they made it whats the big deal?
  • chashaobaochashaobao Posts: 7 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    I'm sure this situation is similar to football coaches, CEOs, and pro athletes - a few true stars justify a huge compensation package based on actual performance - funds raised, ticket revenue, profits generated, etc...

    University presidents are NOT like football coaches and star athletes. Though I don’t like semi-professional sport leagues attached to academic institutions, college football and men’s basketball coaches generally eat their own kills, like most star pro-athletes. Their incomes are directly linked to their win-loss records, ticket sales, TV revenues, and in some cases, direct contributions from boosters.

    Though college presidents like to boast about the donations to the universities THEY have generated, but in general, the personality of a university president has very little to do with these donations. Large research universities all have development offices. Presidents may wine and dine and shake the hands of a few donors on occasion. Few donors give to a university because of the personality of its president.

    Take the example of U Michigan Ann Arbor, which has been talked about a lot on this thread: U Michigan has been able to generate a large endowment and donations mainly because: 1. A large wealthy donor base; U Michigan has produced a large number of successful alumni over the last 170 years, they and their families have a strong emotional tie with the university and a sense of obligation; 2. Strong research (including a top medical school) and academic programs, which are built over many, many decades with strong public support. Does anyone believe that if the president of U Michigan Ann Arbor were appointed chancellor of U Michigan Flint, she would be able to generate the same kind of donations there?

    I am not arguing that the university presidents are not important and do not make a difference, just that they shouldn’t take credit for good weathers. I also believe the governorships and the presidency of the US are very, very important jobs, even though they are paid much less.
  • chashaobaochashaobao Posts: 7 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    bclintonk wrote:
    Some of the increase in administrative costs is consumer driven…
    This may be true at some level, but we’ll never know how much is demand driven and how much is created on the whims or some idiosyncrasies of some administrators, or for the purpose of increasing the administrators’ fiefdoms. Once these programs are established, they will only grow, regardless of demand; there are always advocacy groups for them - the people who run these programs.
    bclintonk wrote:
    …Faculty did some externally funded research but it wasn’t the billion dollar enterprise it is today, with centers and institutes on every imaginable topic, each with a director and staff as well as affiliated faculty, aimed at maximizing the university’s haul of research dollars. They didn’t have big bureaucracies to supervise and audit all the externally funded research, either; truth is, supervision was minimal, and some got in trouble for it.
    Someone has just found another place in university to add a layer of administrators, on top of the research centers. Research centers are among the most efficiently run organizations with a university, most with very few staff that are often shared with academic departments. Who is to pay for this additional supervision, beyond the center itself, office of research, and school/department? The administration bureaucracy has already more than exhausted the last pennies from research overhead funds. If it were not for a sex and financial scandal, few would have known that UC Berkeley had an assistant vice chancellor, making $188k/year, for managing human resources, purchasing and other administrative tasks for UC Berkeley's research centers and institutes. She was only demoted to a director with a 7% pay cut, before a fire storm broke out.
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 24 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    "Once these programs are established, they will only grow, regardless of demand; there are always advocacy groups for them - the people who run these programs."

    -- Patently untrue. Programs and initiatives are cut, merged or eliminated altogether all the time. Because schools have had to become more entrepreneurial, programs are also often run like businesses. If they don't generate money, they're done away with. As are jobs and positions.
  • chashaobaochashaobao Posts: 7 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    katliamom wrote:
    -- Patently untrue. Programs and initiatives are cut, merged or eliminated altogether all the time. Because schools have had to become more entrepreneurial, programs are also often run like businesses. If they don't generate money, they're done away with. As are jobs and positions.

    Programs that generate money? Could you name a few?

    Jobs are done with? Some janitorial jobs, maybe?

    The number of university administrators and administrative staff has been continuously growing for the last 2 decades, at least twice the rate of student/faculty growth. You can go check out Benjamin Ginsberg's book "The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters".
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 24 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Of course. Online courses, "weekend" colleges for part-time students, study abroad, recruitment of international students and out of state students -- all these are examples of programs that generate money for schools. And that require administrative staff.

    On the academic side, many of the 'study centers' that you deride generate money because they bring in private and government grants. Yet they also require investment, and staffing.

    Academic and administrative jobs are done away with all the time. The academic department my husband was a professor in some 20 years ago no longer exists. It's been merged with three others, a loss of several administrative positions and about 8 adjunct jobs. My daughter went to a university that eliminated an entire SCHOOL. Yes, there were job losses there.

    Are you even aware that some universities have 'enterprise zone' status? To encourage the development and implementation of money-generating programs so that they can be weaned off the public dollar?

    I think it's time for people to educate themselves on how the 21st century university works -- because the very language you use ("fifedom") indicates your understanding of today's schools is somewhat antedilluvian.
  • HuntHunt Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    Whenever I hear that somebody is getting paid too much for any job, my question is: can you get somebody better for less? If you can't, then it doesn't really mean anything to say that the person is being paid too much.

    So, are there some successful universities, public or private, that pay their presidents a lot less?
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 24 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I know of one. University of Denver. Paid their president $1. Of course, he's a retired multi-multi-millionaire.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Posts: 48
    edited May 2013
    Hunt wrote:
    So, are there some successful universities, public or private, that pay their presidents a lot less?

    Good question, Hunt. I’d say the answer is no, not really, you won’t find any clear examples of executives of the most successful colleges or universities working for less than the going rate. The following data are taken from the Chronicle of Higher Education. In each category I’d say the lowest compensation represents the lower end of a range—the tail of the curve, if you will, rather than a true outlier. You will, however, find true outliers on the high side. The results are pretty much what you’d expect: pay is lower at LACs than at research universities, and generally higher at private research universities than at publics, and within each category compensation tends to rise the higher up you go in the pecking order.

    Lowest pay for the president of a top 50 LAC:
    $363,655 Gettysburg College (#46 LAC)
    $388,784 Whitman College (#43 LAC)

    Lowest pay for the president of a top 25 LAC:
    $435,437 Davidson College (#12 LAC)
    $452,564 Bates College (#22 LAC)

    Lowest pay for the president of a top 10 LAC:
    $472,355 Pomona (# 4 LAC)
    $483,183 Bowdoin (#6 LAC)

    Lowest pay for the president of a top 50 private university:
    $738,399 Notre Dame (#17 national university)
    $769,414 University of Rochester (#33 national university)

    Lowest pay for the president of a top 25 private university:
    $738,399 Notre Dame (#17 national university)
    $854,082 Cornell (#15 national university)

    Lowest pay for the president of a top 10 private university:
    $875,331 Harvard (#1 national university)
    $902,205 Princeton (#1 national university)

    Lowest pay for the chief executive of a top 50 public university:
    $330,855 UC Santa Barbara* (#41 national university)
    $400,000 UC Davis* (#38 national university)

    Lowest pay for the chief executive of a top 30 public university:
    $416,000 UCLA* (#24 national university)
    $444,624 UNC Chapel Hill* (#30 national university)

    Lowest pay for top 50 public, excluding UC system and UNC system chancellors:
    $466,935 Wisconsin (#41 national university)
    $597,128 Georgia Tech (#36 national university)

    Lowest pay for top 30 public, excluding UC system chancellors and UNC system chancellors:
    $731,537 UVA (#24 national university)

    (*) Each UC campus is headed by a chancellor, who does not have all the powers and duties of a president. The president of the UC system made $847,149. UNC is similarly structured with the Chapel Hill campus headed by a chancellor. The president of the UNC system made $575,499.

    Figures listed as reflecting part-year compensation are excluded.
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 48
    edited May 2013
    Nice work, thanks.
  • yanniboy24yanniboy24 Posts: 4 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    that's crazy! love what you said mommusic
  • chashaobaochashaobao Posts: 7 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Re: katliamom #112
    …I think it's time for people to educate themselves on how the 21st century university works -- because the very language you use ("fifedom") indicates your understanding of today's schools is somewhat antedilluvian.

    I am parent of a college age kid, I don’t mind being called old. My kid definitely thinks I am pretty old. And I have seen a few fads come and gone in my lifetime so far.
    … Online courses, "weekend" colleges for part-time students, study abroad, recruitment of international students and out of state students -- all these are examples of programs that generate money for schools. And that require administrative staff.
    You have given some very bad examples as forward looking, money-generating, 21st century programs.

    "weekend" colleges for part-time students – I don’t know what public university you have worked for. But many flag-ship public universities have extension programs providing evening, weekend, and summer classes for full-time working students. UC extension has been in existence since the 1890s. In California, most if not all of the over 100 community colleges and 23 Cal state universities provide evening and weekend classes for continuing and working students. To them, this is not some new-age, money making scheme, but it is one of their core missions.

    Study abroad – this is truly a more recent phenomenon for majority of college students. These programs are often advertised as programs to teach students the knowledge and skills to live and work in a globally world. Do you really want to tell the students that it is just a tool used to overcharge them and help fill the university’s coffers? Wasn’t the purpose of money generating to lower the students’ costs? Or is it to fleece the students to feed the administrators?

    recruitment of international students and out of state students – Again this is nothing new. UVA and U Michigan have been doing this successfully for at least a couple of decades. When I was in China the last few years, I’ve seen a growing recruiting efforts by US colleges and private high schools through rolling international college fairs. The public colleges I saw there were mostly lower tier universities, like CA state Northridge and Central Michigan University, and community colleges. The flag-ship research universities, which we are mainly discussing in this thread and are generally in the top 100 USNews ranking, do not need additional staff for recruitment; they can simply admit more international applicants. The science and engineering departments at these research universities have been admitting large number of international graduate students for over 30 years, without the need of additional staff. But I can certainly see some deans of admissions want to have offices and staff in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Dubai etc.

    Online courses – This may be the future of college education, but I don’t know any college or any one that has figured out a way to make money out online courses, let alone making real money. University of Phoenix might be an exception.

    – Continues ...
  • chashaobaochashaobao Posts: 7 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    On the academic side, many of the that you deride generate money because they bring in private and government grants. Yet they also require investment, and staffing.
    I didn’t deride university research centers. I just gave an anecdote of a university administrator, highly paid, presumably, with funds generated by research centers, abusing her power.

    I don’t have time here today to explain in details how research centers and institutes are funded and run. But you apparently know nothing about these 'study centers' you are talking about. Most research centers requires little or no net investment or staffing from the university, and those do, are similar to academic departments in science and engineering. There is little room for bloating of the administrative staff.

    The key to research centers/institutes is the faculty, who make scientific discoveries and bring in grant moneys.
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