Harbin, James
October 2015
Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings of the Ac;Oct2015, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p19
Conference Proceeding
For the past decade or more, the salaries of the Chief Executive Officers of American firms have been a topic of heated debate. This debate in the corporate world of business seems to have more recently spilled over into at least some of the salaries that are being paid to the presidents of various universities. Today, there are scores of university presidents receiving a million or more in yearly compensation. On top of the yearly salary, there are the perks, bonuses, and retirement costs that can add another million or two to the package. Citing examples from the corporate world as well as higher education, the objectives of the paper are several. First, like in the world of business debate, is the difference in the salary of the person at the top and those further down the hierarchy widening? Second, it is an attempt to determine to what extent the rising salaries of university presidents are problematic. Third, to investigate and propose some ratios that might be appropriate for comparing those differences across campuses and over time. Fourth, the study looks at average faculty salaries and how those compare to average presidential salaries. And, fifth, it is an attempt to provide some insight into the factors that boards of education use in determining presidential pay. Among the findings and conclusions of the paper are the following. There remains a big gap between what is happening to CEO salaries in the corporate world and those in higher education. On the other hand, there appears to be a slippery slope effect taking place in salary creep for presidential salaries. This slippery slope is creating a ratcheting up effect on various levels just below the president. All contributing to what may be a more pressing issue, requiring a need for further analysis, and that's the growing bureaucratic costs of running a university.


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