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(Mother Jones)   Another reason your college tuition is skyrocketing: outrageous perks that are given to college presidents and celebrity professors   (motherjones.com) divider line 100
    More: Asinine, establishments, Bob Kerrey, outgoing president, American Association of University Professors, City University of New York, Graham Spanier, Petraeus, college tuition  
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2732 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Sep 2013 at 9:48 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-05 08:52:02 AM
I'm not sure Mother Jones knows what a "perk" is.
 
2013-09-05 08:55:10 AM
You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-05 08:56:55 AM

From my area:

A major donor has withdrawn a planned $100,000 gift to Westfield State University, saying he was "appalled at the lavish spending" by president Evan Dobelle, joining a growing backlash against the school after reports that Dobelle used the school's private fund-raising arm to foot the bill for luxury hotels, limousine rides, and other high-end purchases, including a trip to Asia.
(Boston Globe August 29 2013)
 
2013-09-05 09:14:59 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


At big time Div. I schools, sure, but those schools are in the minority. And I don't care if private schools decide to do that. State schools, OTOH....
 
2013-09-05 09:25:51 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


This.

The football coach and team and general program.
 
2013-09-05 09:32:04 AM
This is the benefit of being part of the Executive Class.
 
2013-09-05 09:33:03 AM
MoJo, if you're gonna whine, at least get your stats all in a row:

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-05 09:37:38 AM
Way back when I was an undergrad, the school paper found out that the school was diverting heating/steam from the humanities building to heat the grass in the stadium. They interviewed the president. "This gives us extra months of practice in a real setting when everyone else is practicing on snow or in an artificial setting. And they're arts students; they should get used to adversity."
 
2013-09-05 09:44:40 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


Actually, the college football coach is often the highest paid public employee in the state. Not in New England.

cdn.breitbart.com
 
2013-09-05 09:47:27 AM
GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-05 09:47:44 AM
dahmers love zombie

I like that map because I learned Connecticut's women's basketball coach is not only well paid, but the best paid coach in the state.
 
2013-09-05 09:49:56 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


Not at the University of Chicago.

/Oregon spent $65m on new athletic facilities for its football team and coach. I wouldn't be surprised if that's more than all their classroom buildings combined.
 
2013-09-05 09:56:39 AM

vygramul: I'm not sure Mother Jones knows what a "perk" is.


I have to disagree, FTA

exit bonuses, deferred compensation, and loan forgiveness, housing loans, cars and drivers, first-class airline tickets, and the use of a spacious, 19th-century two-bedroom 5th Avenue apartment

I think they've got a pretty good handle on it.
 
2013-09-05 10:01:07 AM

unlikely: The football coach and team and general program.


Not to comment on the worthiness of collegiate sports funding vs. academics, but I would be interested to know how many of the sports programs are at least revenue-neutral, and how much of the profits are invested back into academic programs.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-05 10:03:12 AM
By my definition, bonuses are not perks. Cars, houses, and first class travel are.
 
2013-09-05 10:05:28 AM
... Whereas my alma mater's current president is simply fixated on promoting political orthodoxy while his successor as governor is on a slash and burn mission to make higher education as useless as humanly possible by establishing as many conflicting guidelines as possible. Some day Indiana will look back and realize that it once had academic institutions that it could be proud of. But hey, as long as we win basketball, who gives a shiat, right?
 
2013-09-05 10:06:54 AM
College presidents are essentially fundraisers, so the pay may not really be that outrageous when compared to how much money they bring in, which could be in the hundreds of millions over their tenure (which was the case with Judith Rodin when she was the president of Penn -- she tripled the endowment and the annual fundraising). So their salary really needs to be measured against their performance.

As for celebrity professors, again, they could be helping to bring in donations, boost application rate, bring in research grants, etc.

Bottom line, instead of biatching about raw numbers, look at the ROI. And I'm not saying that nobody is being overpaid, but some people are certainly earning their perks.
 
2013-09-05 10:08:08 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: vygramul: I'm not sure Mother Jones knows what a "perk" is.

I have to disagree, FTA

exit bonuses, deferred compensation, and loan forgiveness, housing loans, cars and drivers, first-class airline tickets, and the use of a spacious, 19th-century two-bedroom 5th Avenue apartment

I think they've got a pretty good handle on it.


Yabut, the "perks" they list as the outrageous ones are the payouts, with one or two exceptions. If they listed first-class airline tickets for their pet goldfish, that would be an outrageous perk. Listing "$1m retirement payout" isn't.
 
2013-09-05 10:09:26 AM
I'm reminded of the old joke about a President on a cost-cutting mission, asking why the science departments can't be more like the math department: "All they need are pencils, paper, and waste-paper baskets. Even better, why not like the philosophy department, all they need are pencils and paper!"

As a philosophy student back in the day this amused me. Mainly because the only thing the tenured faculty seemed to have going for them was all being inordinately, and surprisingly, rich.
 
2013-09-05 10:13:33 AM
Perks aren't causing college costs to skyrocket, it's student amenities.  Colleges are no longer competing based on cost and academics.  They're competing based on who has the best dorms/apartments, who has the best gym, who has the best cafeteria, who has the best on-campus concerts, who has the best athletic program.  With essentially unlimited money available for students there's no reason to keep costs low and every incentive to make the college experience as little like school as possible.

I mean, just look at Alabama.  Criticize them all you want for having the highest-paid football coach in the country (even if the program has $20m/yr in annual profits), but enrollment is up 33% since Saban came to campus six years ago and they've DROPPED the acceptance rate.  Plus, half their incoming classes now are from out of state (as opposed to a third before) which brings even more money to the university.  Is all of this due to the football program?  Probably not.  But I bet a lot of it is.  These are the things bringing students to campus, so these are the things universities are spending their money on.
 
2013-09-05 10:15:19 AM

rugman11: Perks aren't causing college costs to skyrocket, it's student amenities.  Colleges are no longer competing based on cost and academics.  They're competing based on who has the best dorms/apartments, who has the best gym, who has the best cafeteria, who has the best on-campus concerts, who has the best athletic program.  With essentially unlimited money available for students there's no reason to keep costs low and every incentive to make the college experience as little like school as possible.

I mean, just look at Alabama.  Criticize them all you want for having the highest-paid football coach in the country (even if the program has $20m/yr in annual profits), but enrollment is up 33% since Saban came to campus six years ago and they've DROPPED the acceptance rate.  Plus, half their incoming classes now are from out of state (as opposed to a third before) which brings even more money to the university.  Is all of this due to the football program?  Probably not.  But I bet a lot of it is.  These are the things bringing students to campus, so these are the things universities are spending their money on.


It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.
 
2013-09-05 10:15:20 AM

dahmers love zombie: MoJo, if you're gonna whine, at least get your stats all in a row:

[i.imgur.com image 850x478]


Still love that Nevada's highest paid state employee is a plastic surgeon.
 
2013-09-05 10:21:35 AM

Nabb1: RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.

At big time Div. I schools, sure, but those schools are in the minority. And I don't care if private schools decide to do that. State schools, OTOH....


They aren't the minority.   The highest paid state employee in the vast majority of states is the football or basketball coach.
The hockey coach at the University of North Dakota makes almost $700,000 a year.
 
2013-09-05 10:24:41 AM
vygramul:   It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.

In the morning paper today, 30 yrs. ago our state university received 27% of its operating budget from tuition payments.  Today?  50%  Correlation?
 
2013-09-05 10:26:39 AM

vygramul: rugman11: Perks aren't causing college costs to skyrocket, it's student amenities.  Colleges are no longer competing based on cost and academics.  They're competing based on who has the best dorms/apartments, who has the best gym, who has the best cafeteria, who has the best on-campus concerts, who has the best athletic program.  With essentially unlimited money available for students there's no reason to keep costs low and every incentive to make the college experience as little like school as possible.

I mean, just look at Alabama.  Criticize them all you want for having the highest-paid football coach in the country (even if the program has $20m/yr in annual profits), but enrollment is up 33% since Saban came to campus six years ago and they've DROPPED the acceptance rate.  Plus, half their incoming classes now are from out of state (as opposed to a third before) which brings even more money to the university.  Is all of this due to the football program?  Probably not.  But I bet a lot of it is.  These are the things bringing students to campus, so these are the things universities are spending their money on.

It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.


I thought I had implied that with the bolded part above.  It's true that student loans are helping, but that money isn't going to the academic programs, it's going to amenities.  Schools are still capable of providing the same kind of education they did 20 years for roughly the cost they had 20 years ago (after adjusting for inflation obviously).  The increased charges, though, are largely going to non-academic pursuits.
 
2013-09-05 10:30:16 AM

rugman11: Perks aren't causing college costs to skyrocket, it's student amenities.  Colleges are no longer competing based on cost and academics.  They're competing based on who has the best dorms/apartments, who has the best gym, who has the best cafeteria, who has the best on-campus concerts, who has the best athletic program.  With essentially unlimited money available for students there's no reason to keep costs low and every incentive to make the college experience as little like school as possible.

I mean, just look at Alabama.  Criticize them all you want for having the highest-paid football coach in the country (even if the program has $20m/yr in annual profits), but enrollment is up 33% since Saban came to campus six years ago and they've DROPPED the acceptance rate.  Plus, half their incoming classes now are from out of state (as opposed to a third before) which brings even more money to the university.  Is all of this due to the football program?  Probably not.  But I bet a lot of it is.  These are the things bringing students to campus, so these are the things universities are spending their money on.


Student amenities is one thing. Another huge part is the vast increase in the amount of administrative staff. Most colleges probably have at least a dozen "assistant vice chancellors for ______"
 
2013-09-05 10:30:25 AM
as someone who works at a university, I can tell you that the pay for higher level administrators including presidents rises dramatically every year while the pay for university staff has stagnated for several years. Who knows though, maybe all that wealth up top will trickle down to the rest of us that keep university offices actually running
 
2013-09-05 10:31:05 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: vygramul:   It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.

In the morning paper today, 30 yrs. ago our state university received 27% of its operating budget from tuition payments.  Today?  50%  Correlation?


That probably correlates more closely to cuts in state funding than student loans.  Here's what Georgia's state higher education funding looks like over the last 20 years:

likethedew.com

And most states are going to look exactly the same.
 
2013-09-05 10:34:33 AM

rugman11: I thought I had implied that with the bolded part above. It's true that student loans are helping, but that money isn't going to the academic programs, it's going to amenities. Schools are still capable of providing the same kind of education they did 20 years for roughly the cost they had 20 years ago (after adjusting for inflation obviously). The increased charges, though, are largely going to non-academic pursuits.


It's going to all of those things. Amenities, Athletics and administrative pay. It is all oversize because we enable easy access. The natural demand for a college degree is far less because we make it easy for the uninformed to get debt to hand to a bad product they are expected to purchase.
 
2013-09-05 10:34:46 AM

what_now: RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.

Actually, the college football coach is often the highest paid public employee in the state. Not in New England.

[cdn.breitbart.com image 475x356]


Yeah, well, us people in Connecticut apparently really like the Huskies basketball.
 
2013-09-05 10:35:46 AM
Your ruling class wants its cut. Of everything.
 
2013-09-05 10:37:03 AM

rugman11: Perks aren't causing college costs to skyrocket, it's student amenities.  Colleges are no longer competing based on cost and academics.  They're competing based on who has the best dorms/apartments, who has the best gym, who has the best cafeteria, who has the best on-campus concerts, who has the best athletic program.  With essentially unlimited money available for students there's no reason to keep costs low and every incentive to make the college experience as little like school as possible.


I don't think it's the first one, but it is the second one.
 
2013-09-05 10:37:37 AM
I would love to have this celebrity professor as my teacher.

www.nashvillescene.com
 
2013-09-05 10:37:42 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


This is one of those things that seems outrageous, but really isn't once you start thinking about it.  Football is profitable for quite a few colleges.  You could argue that paying their coach less might actually cost them more in the long run.

/doesn't really like college ball
 
2013-09-05 10:37:49 AM
Here in Washington, the cost of educating a student has actually decreased ever so slightly over the past 20 years. The only reason tuition has gone up is reduced state funding.

A lot of times people complain about universities claiming poverty while spending millions on lavish new facilities. At most universities, however, those expenditures come from earmarked endowments. That money can't be reallocated to other priorities.
 
2013-09-05 10:37:58 AM

rugman11: vygramul: rugman11: Perks aren't causing college costs to skyrocket, it's student amenities.  Colleges are no longer competing based on cost and academics.  They're competing based on who has the best dorms/apartments, who has the best gym, who has the best cafeteria, who has the best on-campus concerts, who has the best athletic program.  With essentially unlimited money available for students there's no reason to keep costs low and every incentive to make the college experience as little like school as possible.

I mean, just look at Alabama.  Criticize them all you want for having the highest-paid football coach in the country (even if the program has $20m/yr in annual profits), but enrollment is up 33% since Saban came to campus six years ago and they've DROPPED the acceptance rate.  Plus, half their incoming classes now are from out of state (as opposed to a third before) which brings even more money to the university.  Is all of this due to the football program?  Probably not.  But I bet a lot of it is.  These are the things bringing students to campus, so these are the things universities are spending their money on.

It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.

I thought I had implied that with the bolded part above.  It's true that student loans are helping, but that money isn't going to the academic programs, it's going to amenities.  Schools are still capable of providing the same kind of education they did 20 years for roughly the cost they had 20 years ago (after adjusting for inflation obviously).  The increased charges, though, are largely going to non-academic pursuits.


Ah, I see what you're saying.
 
2013-09-05 10:39:15 AM

rugman11: Zeb Hesselgresser: vygramul:   It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.

In the morning paper today, 30 yrs. ago our state university received 27% of its operating budget from tuition payments.  Today?  50%  Correlation?

That probably correlates more closely to cuts in state funding than student loans.  Here's what Georgia's state higher education funding looks like over the last 20 years:

[likethedew.com image 480x369]

And most states are going to look exactly the same.


Michigan subsidizes its state schools by more than double the amount Virginia does. There are some states that are behind the curve on defunding education, but I'm sure that's just an oversight by GOP legislatures.
 
2013-09-05 10:39:20 AM
Someday there will be a full expose on the accounting that is going on in these universities and where the money actually ends up. We'll all be aghast that a few people are profiting enormously from schools that receive state and federal funding while simultaneously putting kids just starting out in life in perpetual debt. Then nothing will be done about it, and we'll move on to the next thing to be shocked about.
 
2013-09-05 10:40:46 AM

DarkSoulNoHope: I would love to have this celebrity professor as my teacher.

[www.nashvillescene.com image 800x890]


So, anyway, I went to Rutgers U when Avery Brooks was still teaching there (saw him MCing at the Mason Grosse open house performance).

Anyway, while he was in DS9, he was still teaching a class at Rutgers. He'd tape his classes from the set of DS9, while wearing his Starfleet uniform, and FedEx it every week to Rutgers and some guy would play it for the students on a TV or something.
 
2013-09-05 10:41:17 AM

GoldSpider: unlikely: The football coach and team and general program.

Not to comment on the worthiness of collegiate sports funding vs. academics, but I would be interested to know how many of the sports programs are at least revenue-neutral, and how much of the profits are invested back into academic programs.


Not really an exhaustive list, but I'd give some decent odds that a lot of the more highly paid coaches are on the teams on this list: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-25-schools-that-make-the-most-money -in-college-football-2013-1?op=1">http://www.businessinsider.com/the- 25-schools-that-make-the-most-money -in-college-football-2013-1?op=1
 
2013-09-05 10:41:43 AM
Here in PA we have Gov Corbett who may have been raped by a teacher or two in his life as he is determined to destroy all education funding and salaries so I am sure he will be chopping these "perks" off soon. There is already legislation on the table to limit salaries to no more than some benchmark state executive positions.
 
2013-09-05 10:41:50 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


Not with the college I work at.  Here it's the basketball coach.

Also... their official salary may not be all they are paid.  We're a public institution so salary is a matter of public record.  The state pays the coach 400,000 and the president of the college is paid 179,000.  The foundation for the college, which is private and not subject to the state's disclosure laws also pays these two individuals money, but how much is not disclosed.
 
2013-09-05 10:44:37 AM

monoski: Here in PA we have Gov Corbett who may have been raped by a teacher or two in his life as he is determined to destroy all education funding and salaries so I am sure he will be chopping these "perks" off soon. There is already legislation on the table to limit salaries to no more than some benchmark state executive positions.


Gov. Corbett is to education what Rick Berman was to Star Trek.

//VOUCHERRRRRRRRRS! in Kirk voice
 
2013-09-05 10:47:18 AM

vygramul: rugman11: Zeb Hesselgresser: vygramul:   It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.

In the morning paper today, 30 yrs. ago our state university received 27% of its operating budget from tuition payments.  Today?  50%  Correlation?

That probably correlates more closely to cuts in state funding than student loans.  Here's what Georgia's state higher education funding looks like over the last 20 years:

[likethedew.com image 480x369]

And most states are going to look exactly the same.

Michigan subsidizes its state schools by more than double the amount Virginia does. There are some states that are behind the curve on defunding education, but I'm sure that's just an oversight by GOP legislatures.


That % of operating budget trend started while state funding was still on the upswing, there is something else at work there.
 
2013-09-05 10:48:02 AM

RexTalionis: You know who usually has the highest salary in a university or college? It's the football coach.


Coaches at all the major schools are paid mostly by the athletic department from booster money, ticket sales, TV deals, etc.  Only a small portion of salary is paid by school itself.  Athletic Dept are seperate entities

Your VP of Parking Kiniesiology is more likely to be getting a huge salary, paid entirely by the school, than what the school pays its coaches.

College Admin are way overpaid...and neither political party wants that changed...because politicians end up with those jobs after they leave politics
 
2013-09-05 11:01:25 AM
Turns out that if you are at the very very top of your field, you make a lot of money.

Alert Romero?
 
2013-09-05 11:03:50 AM
So nine of the ten things on this list are presidents and administrators, but the article has to drag a former general in out of nowhere so that it can throw "professors" onto the pile as well?

Thanks a lot, list that makes professors look bad when the vast majority of them are getting screwed.

/yeah, I know it says celebrity professors, it's still a shiatty biased inclusion.
 
2013-09-05 11:08:30 AM
I would just  like to say that I'm part of the 'Walmartingof academia." I am a 'Visiting Assistant Professor" at a Big 10 University making one-fourth what a tenured prof makes. No benefits. Same class load.
 
2013-09-05 11:13:53 AM
That list is pretty shiatty.

Of course public funding cuts are the largest component of tuition increases.
 
2013-09-05 11:25:04 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: vygramul: rugman11: Zeb Hesselgresser: vygramul:   It's actually student loans. If you reduce the cost of money, then the natural economic reaction is for colleges to increase the price of their product.

In the morning paper today, 30 yrs. ago our state university received 27% of its operating budget from tuition payments.  Today?  50%  Correlation?

That probably correlates more closely to cuts in state funding than student loans.  Here's what Georgia's state higher education funding looks like over the last 20 years:

[likethedew.com image 480x369]

And most states are going to look exactly the same.

Michigan subsidizes its state schools by more than double the amount Virginia does. There are some states that are behind the curve on defunding education, but I'm sure that's just an oversight by GOP legislatures.

That % of operating budget trend started while state funding was still on the upswing, there is something else at work there.


A big part of it is that service sector prices have risen across the board: capital-intensive goods have been getting relatively cheaper while things that require human labor has become more valuable comparatively. Plus the increase in real education costs is far less than we imagine it is. The worst is public universities for exactly the reason that has been mentioned: in the last half decade funding of higher education per student has fallen 30%. Some of that is actual budget cuts, some of that is increased attendance that happens in tough economic times (discouraged workers trying to improve their potential to be hired and avoiding a saturated labor market.)
 
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