Faculty in the News In the News

January 4, 2019 at 9:25 am

Vedder in Forbes | Are University Presidents Paid Too Little or Too Much?

Dr. Richard Vedder, portrait

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at Ohio University, authored a column in Forbes headlined “Are University Presidents Paid Too Little or Too Much?

Higher education recently has been confronted with falling enrollments, increasing financial uncertainty (as evidenced by credit downgrades by Moody’s and Fitch) and falling public support. When those type of results occur in private markets, CEOs often lose their jobs or face pay cuts. But what has happened to university presidential pay? It has risen –substantially.  In 2008, only nine private university presidents made $1 million annually. Eight years later, 61 did. A look at university president compensation reveals a number of oddities.

For example, compare the 2016 compensation of the president of Harvard with that of a school located 2.2 miles away, Simmons University. Harvard is vastly larger, with huge endowment resources not available to Simmons. Moreover, Harvard is arguably the most famous and prestigious American university, while Simmons has a much more modest reputation. In the 2018 Forbes Best College rankings, Harvard ranks first; Simmons ranks 381. However, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual survey of private college presidential pay, the Simmons president’s salary of $1,657,000 in 2016  (last year available) exceeded that of Harvard’s president by more than 50%.

Read his column at Forbes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *