Note: Rutgers ranks 17 of Top 25 Public Universities with the Highest Executive Pay, FY 2006 – FY 2012 in IPS study
By Tamar Lewin
At the 25 public universities with the highest-paid presidents, both student debt and the use of part-time adjunct faculty grew far faster than at the average state university from 2005 to 2012, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning Washington research group.
The study, “The One Percent at State U: How University Presidents Profit from Rising Student Debt and Low-Wage Faculty Labor,” examined the relationship between executive pay, student debt and low-wage faculty labor at the 25 top-paying public universities.
The co-authors, Andrew Erwin and Marjorie Wood, found that administrative expenditures at the highest-paying universities outpaced spending on scholarships by more than two to one. And while adjunct faculty members became more numerous at the 25 universities, the share of permanent faculty declined drastically.
“The high executive pay obviously isn’t the direct cause of higher student debt, or cuts in labor spending,” Ms. Wood said. “But if you think about it in terms of the allocation of resources, it does seem to be the tip of a very large iceberg, with universities that have top-heavy executive spending also having more adjuncts, more tuition increases and more administrative spending.”
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the report found, the leaders of the highest-paying universities fared well, largely at the expense of students and faculty.
“Like executives in the corporate and banking sectors, public university presidents weathered the immediate aftermath of the fall 2008 financial crisis with minimal or no reductions in total compensation,” the report said.