May 23, 2015

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Report Blasts ‘Fantasy World’ of Presidential Benefits.

An Illinois Senate report will be released today blasting the “fantasy world of lavish perks” for presidents of public colleges and universities, The Chicago Tribune reported. The study criticizes funds given to presidents for cars, homes and clubs as well as large severance packages provided to a number of presidents. Some legislators are expected to introduce a bill that would, among other things, limit severance payments to one year’s salary.

Higher education leaders (and not just in Illinois) tend to defend various benefits for presidents as needed to recruit top talent. But the report says that these benefits have hurt important values. “This has led to a culture of arrogance and a sense of entitlement reflected in many of these executive compensation plans, with an apparent disregard for middle-class families whose taxes and tuition dollars are funding these exorbitant salaries and excessive fringe benefits,” the report says.

Well, yes. That said, the real harm isn’t done by fat salaries at the top, but by the swelling ranks of mid-level administrators with high-five and low-six figure salaries, plus expensive staffs, travel allowances, etc. And when you look at dumb, PC stuff happening on campus, it’s almost always the fault of one of these apparatchiks.

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