Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CU College Administrators in the 1%

In a move sure to baffle education critics - and the average taxpayer - the University of Colorado apparently used new revenues to provide substantial pay increases to top administrators at the campus. This comes on top of news that CU will again be hiking tuition a whopping 16% - a move which was defended by CU President Bruce Benson in a recent op-ed in the Denver Post. Most egregious of the increases appears to be a $49,000 increase to Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who will now be earning $390,000 a year.

The CU Board of Regents expressed outrage at the moves - and it's tough to blame theme. Even if the criticism from the Regents can be a bit political at times, college administrators pulling in nearly $400K is almost too much. Granted, Benson reasonably argues that CU's pay is not out of line with the nationwide average. And he needs these offers to remain competitive. And the state wants CU to be a top, competitive state university.

But seriously?

The chancellor of a university is a tough sell to be making more money than a surgeon. Obviously, he has a serious job that requires high quality leadership. There is much we don't know about the intricacies of that job. But perhaps that is the problem. How can leading a university be more "valuable" than leading a state government or Congress or the United States of America ... or an open heart surgery. Education funding is clearly a bubble right now, and there must be excellent leaders who will take CU to the Promised land for half the money. Right?

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