Cynical Synapse

Wed, 20 Oct 2010

University Presidents in Dreamland

Filed under: Economy, Education, Michigan, Schools — cynicalsynapse @ 8:57 pm

Rising tuition costs

The 12-month consumer price index (CPI) is 1.1% for all items. Amidst that backdrop, University of Michigan President Mary sue Coleman accepted a 3% raise.

Wonderful that Coleman gave up a raise last year, but her compensation went from $783,850 to over $800,000 this year. And, while the President’s pay went up 3%, tuition at U of M was up 1.8% over last year and 68% since the 2001-02 school year. Since then, the CPI only rose 21%. So, U of M costs rose at 3 times the rate of inflation. Did I mention that Coleman is the 6th highest paid public university president?

0% tuition hike at EMU

Michigan has 6 university presidents in the top 185 of public institutions. Among public university presidents, the median compensation was $436,111 in 2009-10, with 4 of Michigan’s exceeding the median. Over the last four years, they’ve seen increases of 7.6% to 18.9%, which is quite substantial. And, on top of base pay, university presidents have additional compensatory benefits. Here’s how Michigan’s top universities stack up.

University President 2009 Compensation Rank 2010 Tuition Increase
University of Michigan Mary Sue Coleman $783,850   6 1.5%
Michigan State Lou Anna K. Simon $572,000  43 2.5%
Western Michigan John M. Dunn $459,439  78 7.4%
Oakland Gary D. Russi $436,650  92  
Central Michigan Michael Rao $418,857 107 2.1%
Wayne State Jay Noran $360,000 131  

If the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.1%, why did Michigan public university tuition rise anywhere from 1.5% (U of M) to 7.4% (Western), excluding EMU’s 0%? In the meantime, public university presidents enjoy exhorbitant salaries and benefits.

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