I have to say that I’m pretty outraged. We’re all hearing about the tough economic times ahead. How we shouldn’t expect any raises next year. How we can’t hire new faculty to replace old ones. And then, I see this. That the median compensation for University presidents is going up 7.6%. My president made $1,411,894 last year. Yours made $1,742,560, Jeremy. Amy Gutmann of UPenn got a 40% raise. She’s giving $100,000 back (far less than her raise). This is a paltry symbolic gesture. While median home earnings are going down, universities are rapidly increasing the pay to their executives. You can read more of the chronicle’s report here. But I warn you, it will enrage you. While most workers at colleges are asked to trim their wages, executives like Bollinger, Gutmann and Bienen are rapidly increasing their pay. Faculty pay has not kept pace. And it’s not just the private folks. Public Universities are also paying enormous amounts (OSU’s E. Gordon Gee made more than $1.3 million last year). On average, public university presidents have increased their wages by 35.6% in the last five years. Median household income has fallen during that time (while tuition steadily increases). How, exactly are their wages in keeping of the educational mission of their institutions? Fewer people can afford university. So the response? Pay our executives more.
So what, exactly have these people been doing for the money? Increasing part-time work (now 46% of faculty are part time, up from 22% 30 years ago – and at community colleges it’s far worse, nearing 67%). These part time folks are paid about 1/4 as much per course as full time people like me. They’re also busy cutting the wages of non-academic workers. In other words, they’re make the lives of the people who work at universities less stable, more difficult, and more painful. Nice work; I can see why they’re rewarded.
I have a proposal for this folks. Take some leadership on executive pay. Tie your wages to the median % wage increase in your university. And give at least half the money back, demanding that it be used for student scholarships. In short: stop being so damn greedy. Yes, greedy. That’s exactly what you are. As of right now, the mantra of the unversity president should be, “You get less, while I get more.”