Home > Educational Leadership, Educational Reform, Higher Education > Presidential Pay Is Still a Potent Political Target

Presidential Pay Is Still a Potent Political Target

By Jack Stripling and Andrea Fuller

In a long-simmering national fight over compensation for public-college presidents, the State of California emerged this year as the primary battleground.

More than any other institution in recent memory, California State University has publicly and sometimes bitterly wrestled with a vexing question for higher education: How much does a public university really need to pay its chief executive in order to recruit the best and brightest without squandering scarce resources? The question is one that eludes simple answers, but Cal State’s new policy of clearly stated salary caps for incoming leaders will test whether a governing board can rein in presidential pay without deleterious consequences.

Public outcry over presidential pay, which has become a potent political target in these lean economic times, appears to have done little to affect what presidents earn at public research institutions. In 2010-11, median total compensation for public-college presidents was $421,395, up about 3 percent from the previous year, The Chronicle’s analysis of 190 institutions and university systems has found.

Visit: http://chronicle.com/article/Presidents-Pay-Remains-a/131914

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