PLEDGE NOW
Million-Dollar-Plus College Presidents

New numbers out on what college presidents make and plenty are making a bundle.  We look at the whys of those big paychecks.

Robert Zimmer, president, University of Chicago, speaks during a panel discussion, "2012: The Path to the Presidency", at the University of Chicago in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.  He was listed as the highest-paid college president in America in a 2013 report by The Chronicle Of Higher Education. (AP)

Robert Zimmer, president, University of Chicago, speaks during a panel discussion, “2012: The Path to the Presidency”, at the University of Chicago in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012. He was listed as the highest-paid college president in America in a 2013 report by The Chronicle Of Higher Education. (AP)

Top pay package for a US college president in the latest listing? $3.3 million for Robert Zimmer, the head of the University of Chicago.  Not bad.  And right behind him on the top-paid president’s list, a lot more good packages. $3.1 million, 2.6 million, 2.3, 2.2.  Time was when we pictured college presidents as kindly, wise scholars in slightly frayed tweed coats.  No more.  The latest listing shows forty-two private college presidents making a million-plus.  Student debt’s at an all-time high.  College teachers aren’t rolling in dough.  This hour On Point:  what’s up with college presidents’ pay?

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jack Stripling, senior reporter covering college leadership and presidential compensation for The Chronicle of Higher Education. (@JackStripling)

Raymond Cotton, partner at the Law firm of Mintz Levin and Vice President for Higher Education at ML Strategies, LLC.

Claire Potter, professor of history at the New School. (@tenuredradical)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Chronicle Of Higher Education: Boards Justify High Pay for Presidents — “Mr. Zimmer occupies a rarefied stratum of higher education, leading one of just 10 private colleges with budgets greater than $3-billion. Some compensation experts say that the university’s budget, and by extension its complexity, helps explain why a board would pay Mr. Zimmer on a scale that is sure to get attention, and that could prompt criticism for a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization like the University of Chicago.”

Chicago Tribune: U. of C. president tops national pay chart –“Zimmer, 66, had made $1.6 million the previous year, placing him as the ninth highest-paid president. His large salary boost in 2011 — five years into the job — was due mostly to $1.3 million that had come due that year. That amount made up about 40 percent of his compensation and pushed him to the spot of the highest-paid president. Because it is a one-time payment, Zimmer is likely not to remain the highest-paid president in future years.”

CNN: Big debt for students, big perks for university elites — “The corporate university eliminates full-time teaching jobs whenever possible. It relies on temporary academic laborers who have few or no benefits and median salaries of $2,700 per course, salary stagnation for the majority of academic and nonacademic employees, the reduction or elimination of union jobs, and the outsourcing of essential services to corporate providers who pay minimum wage or less.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 4, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, and daughter Ivanka, left, as he arrives for a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Results from the 2016 Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

 
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment