More College Presidents Join the Millionaire’s Club

These days, it really pays to lead a “nonprofit” university:

An unprecedented 42 private-university presidents made more than $1 million in 2011.

Topping the list is Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, who raked in a whopping $3.36 million that year.

Even in the middle of a recession, with colleges slashing workers and cutting budgets all over the country, pay for college presidents continues to rise. For instance, in 2009 and 2010, former Yale president Richard Levin laid off hundreds of low-paid workers, including dining-hall and maintenance staff, while pulling in annual compensation of $1.6 million.

These seven-figure salaries look obscene — approved, as they very often are, by people the president himself has appointed to the university’s board of trustees.

Because nonprofit universities receive enormous financial benefits as tax-free, “nonprofit” institutions, not to mention untold federal grants and loan subsidies, the sound of jingling gold in a college president’s pocket hurts my ears.

Here’s my advice to university trustees out there: You want to pay your president like a corporate CEO? Then play by the rules of the corporate world — pay your taxes.

Otherwise, pay your leader a more moderate sum.

Most Popular

U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More