Presidential Pay, II

There was some controversy in the comments section of an earlier post I wrote about the pay for Presidents/Acting President/Chancellor/Superintendent positions at state supported universities. These individuals receive a portion of their pay from state sources and a frequently larger portion from private sources. The Richmond Times-Dispatch provided this chart of pay and perks.

The T-D chart noted that “compensation packages vary widely and some are very complex.” The controversy was in the state funded portion of the pay–some saw certain university leaders (such as those from historically black or women’s colleges) receiving pay that was not comparable. I didn’t think there was that much variance that wasn’t explainable by obvious factors, such as a medical school, number of graduate programs, size of campus, enrollment or longevity.

The highest state pay goes to the Norfolk State University interim president–$216K. He receives no private money, however. The lowest pay goes to the president of Christopher Newport–$121K. The upper tier are presidents of VCU and UVA at $162K and VT at $155. In between, there are presidents in the $140s, $130s, and $120s. I don’t see all that much of a discrepancy, but I’m opening this up for any other comments that might be out there. If you want to make a pitch for more cash for the prez of your alma mater or less for a hated in-state rival, go for it.

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5 responses to “Presidential Pay, II”

  1. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Why don’t you show the total package of compensation from all sources and include – car, house, allowances etc?

  2. Virginia Centrist Avatar
    Virginia Centrist

    Yeah that’s really what you need to look at…

    Plus…if you add up all of those filet dinners that they go to for free, you really start pushing the total package into the stratosphere…

  3. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Sorry I don’t have that information, James and VC; I am drafting off the RT-D chart that has some perks listed. An accompanying article lists some other things that might be a part of the compensation package.

    The point of my post was the state portion issue because it became an issue. If you want to discuss the whole package issue, have at it. When it’s private pay, the private parties can do what they want.

  4. Actually, Will, my post was about the packages as a whole, and I was trying to provoke some thinking beyond an equal pay regression analysis of the state approved compensation.

    I was hoping to get folks to think about the bigger picture revealed in the compensation disparities. You “got” that, like elementary school disparity, the compensation levels in part reflect the wealth of the institution. Why is it that the former de jure minority and women schools continue at the bottom of the resources list while upstart Christopher Newport and its relatively small student body and former UVA branch campus commuter school George Mason have lept ahead? And, there is the possibility of a “Women Don’t Ask” factor here, too. Not to mention differences in earning levels of the older graduates of the formerly de jure schools (historically mostly teachers, nurses and social workers) and the effect of that disparity on the “giving” ability of their alums (while living or at death).

    That’s not to say that my answer to these questions is necessarily that the state is obligated to take action to remedy the compensation disparities created by institutional choices. But, I do think that these kinds of questions need asking and some thoughtful reflection.

    Full disclosure: I was once the lead counsel for HEW on the Virginia and North Carolina higher education desegregation cases — cases that taught me about the vestiges of past discrimination.

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