Lots of these academic high rollers get salary enhancements in the form of puffball performance bonuses and deferred compensation packages that help them manage their taxes. As if some bloated college president needs the incentive of a financial bonus in order to make key executive decisions like raising tuition, and outsourcing student services.
Of course the governing boards insist they have to pay ridiculous salaries to attract top talent. What a load of horse manure. You don't need to pay $4.6 million to find a president wiling to defend race-based admission policies, like Bollinger did at the University of Michigan.
You don't need to pay a guy millions of dollars to wear a bow tie and host elaborate parties for big-shot donors, like Ohio State University did when it had Gordon Gee on the payroll.
Gordon Gee: Goof balls can be hired for a lot less money.
You don't need to pay a half million or so to find a president willing to hold photo ops serving pancakes to students while presiding over a university that pays assistant football coaches a million dollars a year--more than the president himself makes--as Louisiana State University did when it hired F. King Alexander.
This is the same Louisiana State University, by the way, that is planning the construction of an $85 million "lazy river" recreational project that includes a "water feature" shaped in the letters of LSU. Why is LSU doing this?
According to Laurie Braden, LSU's Director of University Recreation, “I will put it up against any other collegiate recreational facility in the country when we are done because we will be the benchmark for the next level.” The next level of what--the next level of insanity?
I wonder how much Braden makes for dishing out that kind of logic?
University governing boards need to be clued in to this simple fact: They can hire dunderheads for a lot less than a million dollars a year. For a lot less money, presidents can be found who will sign contracts with Starbucks so that university students pay four bucks for a cup of coffer instead of a quarter. Presidents can be hired who will sign contracts with Barnes & Noble to sell overpriced textbooks to students and give the university a percentage of the profits. Presidents can be found at reasonable salaries who will collude with banks and credit card companies to encourage students to utilize the services of favored financial institutions.
CEOs can certainly be found at very reasonable salaries who are willing to kiss the butts of student protesters and coddle the kids who take over the presidents' offices.
In short, this nation could run a crappy higher education system like the one we have for a lot less money.
|LSU President F. King Alexander: Would you like pancakes with your fee bill?|
Photo credit: Baton Rouge Advocate and Hilary Scheinuk