Salaries and suffering: top administrator’s salaries and the university

From the NY Times:

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a research group, says that the presidents at the 25 public universities that pay their presidents the most have seen their compensation soar since 2008. The average pay for presidents at all public research universities is hardly shabby, increasing by 14 percent, to $544,554, between 2009 and 2012. But average compensation for the presidents at the 25 highest-paying universities increased by a third, to $974,006.

The study makes some disturbing observations about “the top 25.” Student debt is worse than at other schools. Administrative spending is twice the spending on student aid. The percentage of tenured faculty members fell dramatically, while part-time adjunct faculty increased more than twice as fast as the national average for all universities. The “worst overall offenders,” the study said, were Ohio State, Penn State, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan and the University of Delaware.

Note: it isn’t clear from the reporting whether the universities in “the top 25” each have all of these problems, or whether each has at least some.

2 thoughts on “Salaries and suffering: top administrator’s salaries and the university

  1. Thank you for posting this. How do raises in admin salaries affect the numbers and types of academic jobs available to new PhDs? And assuming that the effect is that there are less jobs in general, and that many of those are not TT jobs, but rather adjuncting positions, is there anything that we can do about this? When there are less professors, students get less attention, cheating goes up, bright students fall through the cracks, etc… In general, it’s just not good. Suggestions? Anyone? I’ve only just started thinking about this myself.

  2. O groan; you’re asking a very hard question! Sometimes a core problem is that a public university has political appointees as the board of regents and their decisions about presidential salaries may have little to do with the academy. Another problem is that administrations can isolate themselves from complaints from students and faculty.

    I think a current movement to provide some protection for adjuncts is promising. Make the cheap labor less cheap.

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