Archive for September, 2011

At the University of Washington, President Michael Young earns more than $800,000 annually in a total compensation package. Not bad at all for perhaps the highest paid public official in all of Washington state. He lives in a mansion, and his contract is loaded with perks and “incentives.” All of those details can be found in a University of Washington press release on his contract made public in May. The cheerleading for Young, by the UW, focussed on his purported skills as a political operative and fund-raiser, not on his cost to students and taxpayers. Young is apparently edging out his competitor at Washington State University, President Elson Floyd. According to an article by Benjamin Ginsberg in the September/October 2011 edition of Washington Monthly, Floyd “accepted a $125,000 pay raise, bringing his 2009 salary to $725,000 per year, soon after announcing that financial circumstances required the school to freeze hiring.” Together these guys account for more than $1.5 million in salaries. Is any public university head really worth this kind of money? How exactly are indebted students served by such largesse? What “deliverables” do either of these men provide to merit this kind of public payout?

Washington Monthly examines this issue  on why administrations have become bloated, while not improving instruction. The waste is not limited to overheated senior salaries, but in all forms of administrative positions that gobble up student tuition and state support. The article notes: “Today, administrators and staffers safely outnumber full-time faculty members on campus. In 2005, colleges and universities employed more than 675,000 fulltime faculty members or full-time equivalents. In the same year, America’s colleges and universities employed more than 190,000 individuals classified by the federal government as “executive, administrative and managerial employees.” Another 566,405 college and university employees were classified as “other professional.” This category includes IT specialists, counselors, auditors, accountants, admissions officers, development officers, alumni relations officials, human resources staffers, editors and writers for school publications, attorneys, and a slew of others. These “other professionals” are not administrators, but they work for the administration and serve as its arms, legs, eyes, ears, and mouthpieces.”


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