The Corner

Politics & Policy

Faculty is a Huge Cost, but Administrators Even More So

Many college professors are paid very well. Some of them are worth every penny; others would be overpaid at the minimum wage. The cost of college administrators, however, is an even bigger and faster growing burden.

In today’s Martin Center piece, Anthony Hennen takes a look at the UNC system.

Many professors are into six figures, but the highest paid employees are not teachers or researchers. Hennen writes:

As with many colleges who view athletics as a branding or prestige tool, the highest-paid employee at NC State is head football coach David Doeren, who earns a base salary of $1.5 million, followed by head basketball coach Kevin Keatts, with a base salary of $1.1 million. Chancellor Randy Woodson is the third highest-paid employee at $632,810. Assistant coaches and vice chancellors round out the top 10. In fact, of the 139 NC State employees earning more than $200,000, only 42 are professors.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that our higher education costs are much higher than they’d be if we had a free market in higher ed — no government intervention.

Hennen correctly concludes:

Professors in the UNC system may have enviable salaries, but the occasional media characterization of professors as highly paid with strong job security isn’t necessarily accurate of who gets the biggest paycheck on campus. Instead, it’s the university workers outside the classroom who draw them.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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