Phi Beta Cons

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

Politics & Policy

The Problem with Certainty

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you having this read to you while you white-knuckle the steering wheel trying to get to wherever you’re going for the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More

Theresa May: A Political Obituary

On Friday, Theresa May, perhaps the worst Conservative prime minister in recent history, announced her resignation outside of number 10 Downing Street. She will step down effective June 7. “I have done my best,” she insisted. “I have done everything I can. . . . I believe it was right to persevere even ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More

America’s Best Defense Against Socialism

The United States of America has flummoxed socialists since the nineteenth century. Marx himself couldn’t quite understand why the most advanced economy in the world stubbornly refused to transition to socialism. Marxist theory predicts the immiseration of the proletariat and subsequent revolution from below. ... Read More