Monday, February 9, 2009

A Sweeter Gig than Wall Street Tycoon

"Money" by FLickr user TW Collins, used under a Creative Commons license.

So the poor Wall-Street fat-cats are wincing at a $500,000 pay cap? They just picked the wrong job. A recent article in the Columbus Dispatch reported that the presidents of Ohio's public universities and their senior henchmen advisers won't see pay cuts this year - although unionized state employees are staring down a six percent cut:
According to figures compiled by the Associated Press, the 154 individuals at Ohio's 14 four-year public institutions made a combined $34.6 million last year.

They were led by Ohio State University President Gordon Gee, the highest paid public university president in America. He makes $775,008 a year before bonuses. [My emphasis. WTF does he make after bonuses??!!]

A 6 percent pay cut akin to what Strickland is seeking from unionized agency workers would amount to a $2 million savings if applied to university presidents and other top university officials.
My own university's president makes less than $400,000, a comparatively penurious sum. Of that, $85,000 came from this year's raise alone (about a 30% increase on his previous base). Elsewhere in Ohio, Miami University's president is foregoing his $68,000 performance bonus. No word of anything similar happening here.

Instead, my university has hired a headhunting firm to control the search for our next provost. According to the Athens News, the headhunters will be paid a quarter of the new hire's first-year salary. The outgoing provost makes $264,000. Administrators are not typically hired at lower salaries than their predecessors, so my university will likely shell out over $65,000.

For that amount they could hire:
  • one well-paid assistant professor
  • one-and-a-half instructors at my current level
  • five people working under my former conditions as an adjunct
  • or a scant one-fifth of our current president.
I guess they need a headhunter because there just aren't any smart, ambitious university administrators willing to work for less than half a million, and so none would apply. They'd all waltz off to Wall Street instead. Hey, times are tough all over.

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