No cuts or caps for executive salaries in Big Education

Thomas Lifson
Receiving federal assistance may entail pay cuts for fat cat executives in business, but no such worries for highly paid big shots in higher education. One of the largest industries in America, one far more dependent on federal largess than Wall Street or Detroit, has immunity.

Ellen Gibson of Business Week reports:

The president of the University of Florida got a nearly $300,000 performance bonus in 2008. So did the head of Florida State University. Meanwhile, Governor Charlie Crist authorized double-digit tuition increases at all public universities in Florida, which has been hit hard by foreclosures and bankruptcies. But largesse for university presidents wasn't confined to the Sunshine State last year. ...

University presidents may not be as generously compensated as their counterparts in the for-profit world, but their pay has been rising steeply over the past 15 years, especially compared to professors' incomes. One-third of presidents at public universities now earn more than $500,000 a year. The median pay for public-school presidents in the 2007-08 school year was $427,400, according to an annual compensation survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It was $100,000 higher at private colleges.

With base salaries well into the six figures, the administrators' total compensation is rounded out by perks like retirement payouts, retention bonuses, performance awards, expense accounts, and the use of well-appointed homes and cars. For instance, E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, took home a total of $1,346,225 last year, including a $310,000 performance bonus.

Members of the higher education industry tend to think of themselves as smarter than everybody else, and chafe at the knowledge that plumbing supply contractors out earn professors, and university presidents don't receive stock options.  This may account for some of the bizarre and possibly corrupt ways they behave.

If we are going to have salary caps for executives receiving federal funds, why not extend the logic to Big Ed?

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Richard Baehr adds: No pay caps for lobbyists whose pay is related to stimulus money the get for their clients.  Daschle will make another 2-3million this year.
Receiving federal assistance may entail pay cuts for fat cat executives in business, but no such worries for highly paid big shots in higher education. One of the largest industries in America, one far more dependent on federal largess than Wall Street or Detroit, has immunity.

Ellen Gibson of Business Week reports:

The president of the University of Florida got a nearly $300,000 performance bonus in 2008. So did the head of Florida State University. Meanwhile, Governor Charlie Crist authorized double-digit tuition increases at all public universities in Florida, which has been hit hard by foreclosures and bankruptcies. But largesse for university presidents wasn't confined to the Sunshine State last year. ...

University presidents may not be as generously compensated as their counterparts in the for-profit world, but their pay has been rising steeply over the past 15 years, especially compared to professors' incomes. One-third of presidents at public universities now earn more than $500,000 a year. The median pay for public-school presidents in the 2007-08 school year was $427,400, according to an annual compensation survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It was $100,000 higher at private colleges.

With base salaries well into the six figures, the administrators' total compensation is rounded out by perks like retirement payouts, retention bonuses, performance awards, expense accounts, and the use of well-appointed homes and cars. For instance, E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, took home a total of $1,346,225 last year, including a $310,000 performance bonus.

Members of the higher education industry tend to think of themselves as smarter than everybody else, and chafe at the knowledge that plumbing supply contractors out earn professors, and university presidents don't receive stock options.  This may account for some of the bizarre and possibly corrupt ways they behave.

If we are going to have salary caps for executives receiving federal funds, why not extend the logic to Big Ed?

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Richard Baehr adds: No pay caps for lobbyists whose pay is related to stimulus money the get for their clients.  Daschle will make another 2-3million this year.