Pound Foolish

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So universities are strapped for cash, right? Colleges across the country have announced that they’re raising tuition, cutting financial aid, and freezing hiring due to the nasty recession. Well not everywhere, and not for everyone. Apparently some 26 percent of private college presidents took home raises of four percent or more last year. According to an article by Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed:

That’s a larger figure than those who cut their salaries (14 percent), according to a national survey by Yaffe and Company, which released highlights on Wednesday. Most of the private colleges in the survey — like most private colleges generally — were not institutions with billion-dollar endowments.

And while [Yaffe CEO Rian] Yaffe acknowledged that some of the larger raises will probably be controversial, he said that does not deter trustees. There isn’t much fear about [a public relations] controversy when the details emerge. Many trustees feel, he said, that “if someone is going to complain about a $250,000 salary, they are also going to complain about a $230,000 salary.”

The survey was conducted confidentially, so it’s unclear which college presidents got salary increases last year.

The median annual salary for a college president in 2009 was $228,528.[Image via]

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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