Monday, November 24, 2008

University spokesman Daniel Wolter said that Bruininks does not comment on his compensation but said he was "quite surprised he ranked as high as he did." (Star Tribune, XI-21-08)

The University of Minnesota Appears to Be Number Three

(No, that would not be in the world...)

BigTen Executive Compensation

Reading the chicken entrails that are the salary/job descriptions of university executives is difficult. No doubt this is deliberate, and not done to protect the innocent. Those at the U can have a look at the numbers themselves via the ejournals function of the U of M library. Unfortunately the general public does not have ready access to the database. Therefore, I post this data as a public service.

Gee - Ohio State - $1,346,225 [sic(k)]

Coleman - Michigan - $760,196

Bruininks - Minnesota - $733,421

less 5% - 696,750
less 10% - 660,079
Spanier - Penn State - $611,367

Mason - Iowa - 583,000

Simon - Michigan State $572,000

- Purdue - 501,000

McRobbie - Indiana - 484,000

Herman - Illinois - $427,500

Riley - Wisconsin - $358,745

A couple of things stand out. Two institutions that are consistently ranked near the top of the BigTen, Illinois and Wisconsin, have the lowest executive compensation!

Gordon Gee is obviously overpaid. He has jacked up his salary by being a serial university president, starting at a very young age. One could argue that Mary Sue Coleman, the president of Michigan deserves the salary she gets, considering the academic ranking of that institution.

But the other salary that stands out, besides those of Gee, Herman, and Reilly, is that of OurLeader. He is apparently being paid considerably more than the Penn State president even though one could argue that Penn State cleans our clock in a number of areas important to a land grant institution, especially graduation rate.

A voluntary salary cut of five percent as previously suggested, would be a good way to demonstrate OurLeader's Gopher spirit. It would seem such a cut would do nothing to alter his salary ranking in the Big Ten. Even ten percent would not, as illustrated above.

Comparing OurLeader's salary to that of other chief executives of Big Ten schools, together with the relative ranking of the University, leads to the conclusion that he is currently being very well compensated.

Asking students, and their parents, to share the burden of increased tuition might be a little better received if there were some evidence that OurLeader was willing to make some real sacrifice himself. Asking the state legislature, with a straight face, for a ten percent increase in funding for the U is neither wise nor prudent. A salary freeze for someone who makes more than seven hundred thousand a year is a sacrifice? In... your... dreams.

Bob, how about it? Please start demonstrating some leadership instead of whistling in the dark and waiting for the axe to fall. This coming Thursday illustrates the results of such a strategy, at least for the bird.

No comments: