Taxpayer Funded University Presidents Raking in Major Dollars

Katie Pavlich

5/22/2012 8:35:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

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.

Locally, the top-paid public chiefs were Charles Steger of Virginia Tech, at $738,603, and Alan Merten, the departing George Mason president, at $717,363. University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan earned $665,000, but that pay is listed as “partial-year”.

The annual Chronicle survey shows a rapid rise in top executive compensation in the public universities; last year’s survey had just one president, Gee, earning seven figures, and his total package was just $1.3 million. Governing boards are probably mindful of such milestones, just as they are mindful of being the first (or second, or third) institution to charge, say, $40,000 in private tuition.