President Obama gets paid $400,000 per year to serve as President of the United States of America. Many college presidents get paid more for running a school than they would for being the leader of the free world, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Presidents at public universities received a median salary of $431,000 in the 2015 fiscal year, with a 4.3 percent increase. Five presidents have even entered the "million-dollar club", earning as much as $1.3 million annually. While the pay might be quite generous, being a college president has quickly become a job that's very hard to keep.
High-profile resignations or firings are becoming commonplace in the world of higher education. From heated race issues to sexual assault cases, being a college or university president has become more complex than it was a decade ago, according to The Washington Post. In addition to administrative responsibilities, presidents are increasingly responsible for pleasing alumni, faculty, and students because, "at any one time, one of those groups is upset about something." The University of Houston's President Renu Khato earned the highest salary at $1.3 million in 2015. Former University of Oregon President Mark Gottfredson followed with a total compensation of $1,215,142 and an additional $940,000 severance payout after he resigned amid controversy over the school's mishandling of a sexual assault case.
College presidents are taking on different roles, and future leadership may require individuals who don't necessarily follow "typical pathways through academia" and who don't come from traditional backgrounds. Candidates may need to keep up with evolving trends in teaching, learning and technology as well as being well-versed in finances as opposed to following conventional academic careers such as scholars, professors, and researchers. Only 30 percent of sitting provosts actually want to become a college president which is daunting, considering many of current college and university presidents are expected to retire. Who will rise up to the high-pay, high-turnover challenge?
In your opinion, should college and university residents get paid such high salaries or take a pay cut? Leave us your thoughtful comments below.
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