Tuesday, November 3, 2009

College President Salaries Continued to Climb

Some salaries increased by 15 percent before the economic crunch hit
By Kim Clark

In the year before the economy collapsed, the paychecks of private college presidents continued to climb, according to a new analysis by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The typical president of a private college got a raise of more than $26,000, or 6.5 percent, to bring the total pay package up to $358,746. Pay was higher and rose even faster at major private research universities: The median pay of $627,750 at those institutions represented a one-year jump of 15.5 percent. In addition, the Chronicle found that 85 of the 419 private colleges surveyed were paying at least one former employee more than $200,000.

Chronicle researchers noted that the numbers were for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008—the most recent data available—and the salary inflation might have been reined in since the recession began. For example, many university presidents have accepted pay cuts or reduced bonuses in the past year.

News of the rising costs of administrators comes as colleges continue to raise their tuition faster than inflation. The College Board reported last month that the average private university has raised tuition by almost $4,000 since 2006 to $26,273, 10 percentage points faster than inflation.

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