For-Profit Executive Salaries

Bloomberg has a new piece on the extravagant compensation for executives at for-profit universities (link here).  I usually believe that criticizing pay comes off as being pretty petty, but some of these seem grossly excessive.

The windfall to executives at for-profit colleges towers over the rest of higher education.

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pays President Drew Faust $800,000 a year. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, received $1.6 million and was the highest-paid president of a nonprofit or public university, according to Chronicle of Higher Education surveys of the most-recent college filings. The median annual pay of presidents at private nonprofit universities was $358,746, compared with $627,750 at large, private research universities, the Chronicle found. Heads of public institutions took home a median $436,111, according to the Chronicle.

At Strayer, Silberman heads a chain of colleges with 54,000 students last year, about the size of New York University, based in lower Manhattan. Silberman’s $41.9 million pay package amounted to 32 times NYU President John Sexton’s $1.3 million a year.

Now to be fair, some of the compensation listed in the article is through the sale of stock.  As such it should probably be excluded.  Why penalize someone for cashing in on something being highly valued by the investment community.  Still, Silberman’s $41.9 million is shockingly high.

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