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$427,000 University President: "College Unaffordability Due to Wealth Inequality"

$427,000 University President: "College Unaffordability Due to Wealth Inequality"
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Donald Farish, Roger Williams University's President earns over $425K annually and wants you to stop blaming colleges for higher education's unaffordability.

What accounts for college unaffordability? According to Farish, it is the "concentration of wealth at the top," or "wealth inequality", which is interesting coming from somebody making almost 10 times the average American worker's salary. He does not however, believe in the "concerns about salaries of some presidents and the cost of DI athletics" that "continue to attract attention." Donald Farish served as President of Rowan University from 1998 until 2011, with an average salary of $300,000 - plus a $15,000 annual bonus. Currently, he is the President at Roger Williams University at a salary of over $427,000.

Farish believes that "wealth inequality is an issue that must be addressed if America is to continue to have a strong and growing national economy." This is coming from a man whom Rowan University bought out at a cost of $600,000, in exchange for his early resignation. Such buyouts, according to Executive Director of the Common Sense Institute of New Jersey, are common but this one “cost the full tuition and fees of 25 students each year to cover the cost of the buyout" and calls the practice of compensating presidents on their way out "unfortunate".

According to Victor Fleischer's published report "Stop Universities from Hoarding Money", wealthy universities such as Yale spend their enormous endowments primarily on compensation for private equity fund managers - roughly $480 million. Compare that to the $170 million spent on tuition assistance, fellowships, and scholarships spent on students; all the while Yale continues to charge its students $45,800 in tuition, room and board. Fleischer claims that this trend - which pays private equity fund managers more than students - exists at Harvard, the University of Texas, Stanford, and Princeton. The problem is that "we've lost sight of the idea that students, not fund managers, should be primarily beneficiaries of a university's endowment. The private-equity folks get cash; students take out loans."

Comments (30)
Reginald T 4/11/2016
I'm graduating in May from High school in desperate need to find scholarships I really don't have the funds to attend the college of my choose parents can't afford to send me. My teachers and counselor are trying to help but just not enough.
M Lane 4/8/2016
I have a German friend who is going back to her home country to attend college because college in Germany is free. Not saying college should be free, but it should definitely be less expensive. This would encourage more people to get an education and ultimately benefit the country as a whole.
D Smith 4/4/2016
Roger Williams University's administration is terrible, most teachers are great and a few need to find a new career. If your child is considering RWU, read and inspect everything first. Mr Farish needs to leave and the University should use his salary for the students, instead of continuously asking for donations.
Torie 4/4/2016
It's crazy how much this guy gets paid. College tuition, room and board, among other fees are way high, but I believe if people really want it and work hard it's not unattainable. I come from a low-income family and neither of my parents went to college. I'm not getting any help, but by writing essays once every other week for scholarships has paid off. It's expensive, but not impossible. This guy does need a pay cut, and some of the money would be better off used to lower tuitions, yet he's not stopping anyone from achieving others dreams, they do that themselves.
Kourtney H 4/3/2016
I want to attend college that is expensive; my family isn't wealthy enough to afford it and not poor enough to get grants! Wish there were other ways to afford college!
Edwin Gavit 4/2/2016
God bless you.
Salem a anjari 4/2/2016
Even if he has a really good job and he may have earned the pay, it is hypocritical to say there isn't enough funds when you could take a pay cut
Rene Realuyo 4/2/2016
Is there a simple way to get find any scholarship that is fitted for what i need?...Going to college is not an easy especially for those people who belong to a poverty line just like me. It is hard to catch a scholarship. That's why, I am here to find scholarship that's best for me. I need this oppurtunity.
Tristin R 4/1/2016
I believe that it also doesn't help that the economy is no good and people are just not making enough money due to that as well as job losses. I think that the government should be trying to get students into college to help better our next generation to provide an advantage to brighten the future. If students get more education then they can get better jobs that provide for them and their families and help make the United States look a little more educated. Knowing more will help the young minds of America and that could help our nation as a whole.
Victoria P. 4/1/2016
During the 4 -5 years in college, it would be great for students who maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA to decrease the tuition and housing fees each year of attendance.
Allen S 4/1/2016
Why is tuitions and board still so expensive if their endowment is so large it just doesn't make sense
Mohamed J Sesay 3/31/2016
Can a sierra leonean participate any of these programs
Melanie E 3/31/2016
It's hypocritical that he gets paid so much and yet there is insufficient funds for college students.
F. 3/30/2016
The American school system is utter B.S. Milenials are expected to seek out higher education, yet the financial burden of school is given a blind eye.
Lorenzo M. 3/30/2016
I come from a small nice town, in a poor state. My teachers try their hardest to get kids to get a good education and go to college. All I hear at school is none are going to college. Which disappoints me, many kids lack the motivation and money to have a promising future. I try to be above the rest and show others that I can go the distance, but going to college is expensive, and scholarships are hard to get. Which is why I won't give up, I will give it my all.
Someone 3/30/2016
You can't really blame him for benefitting off of the system but the system is screwed up. No one is going to give up the oppurtunity to make that much money but there has to be groups that take a stand. It's embarassing that the amount of tuition assistance provided is only a little more than 1/3 of compensation for the top people. College doesn't need to be free to be affordable but all of this money going to people that do nothing to earn it is sad.
Bishnu Gurung 3/30/2016
Can a refugee participate any of these things.
Nicole B 3/30/2016
Think about education. Ask yourself why Europeans colleges paid for their education through nations tax dollars. I agree with the sender above. Most students are doing classes not because it's their passion but the money. That's why we are having money hungry grouchy people in in certain field's.
Jose Benitez 3/30/2016
Colleges now in days care more about rich people and less about giving fair educational opportunities to everyone
YESSENIA Z 3/30/2016
Scholarships and tuitions have become a huge disappointment.
Ke'Maureea G 3/30/2016
I feel as if though if a student wants to go to college and work hard to get there,they should have the money to do it. Believe it not its stressful as it is, not all families are rich and can afford everything. People have struggles and some are more extreme than others. So why stop and make someone feel bad that they can't afford what the work so hard to get. It's so many people who give up on college because they can't afford or it's just not enough. Giving a person a chance is way better then cutting them off. Giving people an opportunity will give them a chance to be great and finally accomplish their dream to help someone or create something that makes a difference.
Tony W 3/30/2016
The wealth gap is ridiculous this people are over payed while students go further in debt. Then when they get out of college and DO find a job they have a hard time paying them off! This is sad!!
Maudeline 3/30/2016
I really appreciate the job you guys are doing because this is a good opportunity for those who can't pay universities ,colleges so they can continue with their future life . Be bless
Michael K. 3/30/2016
Cut his pay down to $100,000 per year and use the rest towards making classes more affordable so the students won't have to move back home after graduating in order to pay off the loan debt.
Eve T. 3/30/2016
Get rid of him he is out of touch with reality and need to pay for any & all students debts that we are faced with trying to go fund an education.
Kate D. 3/30/2016
College tuition has simply become so overpriced and out of scale it's no wonder the university presidents are clueless about their excessive salaries. Add in for many families that since Obamacare, companies have dropped or don't offer benefits so any salary a family makes has to go to pay health insurance premiums and deductibles that have doubled or tripled in some cases along with a general rise in the cost of living. What's worse is that applications like FAFSA don't even take into consideration a families other monthly expenses like healthcare etc. They don't even ask. People like Farish have lost touch with the realities of many families and students.
Ariel B 3/30/2016
Kris L I agree. Let's not even talk about how New York Universities only pay for tuition and not housing. What type of kid out of highschool can afford that type of rent in New York? They shouldn't have to take out private loans and get into debt that early. Give the kids their scholarship money.
Kris L 3/30/2016
Yep, that easy. Most of the scholarship money, unless designated for specific poor groups, will go right back to the people with the money.
Emma C. 3/30/2016
Wealth should be shared and equal, and I am not referring to the socialistic view point. I am referring to that fact that certain jobs make more than really necessary while other jobs do not make nearly enough. Doctors, nurses, and other high-stress intense jobs I understand. The problem is students are now choosing to go to college to make money, and less because they want to do it. I know a kid who really, genuinely wanted to go into sales as a job. While in reality sales are awful for the reason it makes absolutely nothing. However, he is going to college to do something that will have a higher pay so that his future family will have a chance at surviving our economy. A sales job should make just as much as the owner. Which completely contradicts the law of checks and balances, supply and demand. Also, the rational thought of those of a higher level and workload should make more. Although, certain characteristics and personalities leave some no other option but a lower paying job.
Lauren B. 3/29/2016
I'm calling B.S. on this. 'Wealth inequality'? Ok, Mr. Donald Farish...take a pay cut. Please and thank-you.
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