Lavish Compensation for College Presidents

Colleges may be cutting financial aid, services, and even courses, but apparently the salaries of college presidents continue to increase. According to an article in the New York Times:

The median [pay of college presidents] rose to $436,111 in 2008-9, an increase of 2.3 percent when compared with the year before. (When adjusted for inflation… the median increase was 1.1 percent.)

By contrast, in the previous four years… public university leaders’ salaries and benefits rose, on average, by at least 7.5 percent each year, and, in 2005, by 19 percent.

Presidents’ salaries are, however, not rising as much as in past years. This information comes from an annual survey of compensation conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The highest-paid public university president was E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, with an annual compensation package of almost $1.6 million. Admittedly, Gee is apparently also one of America’s “best” college presidents, according to to Time magazine.

The highest-paid private university president was Shirley Ann Jackson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who also earned about $1.6 million last year.

The highest-paid community college president, while still well compensated, made a good deal less than Gee and Jackson; Eduardo Padron of Miami Dade College earned $548,460 in 2009.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer