Americans committed to better living for bosses can take heart at the fact that college and university administrators—unlike their faculty (increasingly reduced to rootless adjuncts) and students (saddled with ever more debt)―are thriving.
In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, 42 private college and university presidents received more than a million dollars each for their work. Robert Zimmer (University of Chicago) was the best-paid, at $3,358,723. At public colleges and universities, nine top administrators garnered more than $1 million each in 2012-2013, with the best-paid, E. Gordon Gee (Ohio State University), receiving $6,057,615.
Since then, it’s likely that the number of millionaire campus presidents has increased, for their numbers have been growing rapidly. Indeed, in 2012-13, the number of public university presidents receiving at least $1 million for their servicesmore than doubled over the previous year.
In addition to their formal compensation, college and university presidents receive some very lavish perks. These include not only free luxury cars and country club memberships, but free university housing. James Milliken, the chancellor of the City University of New York, attended by some of the nation’s most impoverished students, lives rent-free in an $18,000 a month luxury apartment on Manhattan’s posh Upper East Side. From 2000 to 2007, when Gordon Gee was chancellor at Vanderbilt University, he benefited from a $6 million renovation of the university mansion in which he and his wife resided. According to a New York Times article, after Gee moved on to his multi-million dollar job at Ohio State, he was known for “the lavish lifestyle his job supports, including a rent-free mansion with an elevator, a pool and a tennis court and flights on private jets.” <Read more.>