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Year after year it seems public university presidents are lobbying their state legislatures for even more taxpayer funding and it seems that every year, students protest rising tuition prices and budget cuts. But the Washington Post recently dug up the numbers in a new survey showing just how much public university presidents are making around the country and for some, it's nearly $2 million per year. Priorities people. Is higher learning really about educating students anymore?
Texas A&M Chancellor Michael McKinney earned nearly as much, $1.97 million to Gee’s $1.99 million. Ousted Penn State President Graham Spanier earned $1.07 million.
Average presidential pay, however, is not rising at a particularly swift rate. The survey of 190 institutions and university systems found median total compensation rose 3 percent to $421,395.
The Chronicle said the California State University system was the epicenter of unrest over presidential pay last year:
“The outcry over presidential pay at Cal State reached a crescendo last July, when Elliot Hirshman, former provost of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, was named president of San Diego State University and given a $400,000 salary, which was 33 percent higher than that of his predecessor.”
Under pressure, the Cal State board adopted a presidential pay cap in January.
I should hasten to add that the top private university presidents earn significantly more than their public counterparts. The last Chronicle survey of those schools found three private presidents around Washington earning more than $1 million in 2009: $3.8 million went to William Brody at Johns Hopkins University and $1.5 million to Kevin Manning at Stevenson University, both in Baltimore. George Washington University President Steven Knapp earned $1.05 million in 2009.