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College Presidents Making a Killing

Want to become a millionaire fast? Become a college president.

The New York Times covers a report from the Chronicle of Higher Education that found that the the median salary for a college president at a large school has risen to $396,588. In 2004, five presidents earned an annual salary over $1 million. By 2010, more than 30 presidents earned an annual salary over the $1 million mark, with the highest-paid presidents earning up to $3 million:

Three dozen private-college presidents earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2010, the same number as in the previous year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s analysis of federal tax documents.

“There’s no indication in these data that boards are retracting in term of presidential pay,” said Jack Stripling, a senior reporter at The Chronicle. “Over the long run, we’re still seeing more presidents who are paid at an elite level.”

Small wonder that tuition is rising faster than inflation and that students are increasingly stuck with college loan debt for a generation after they graduate. This strikes us as the kind of injustice that could get both conservative and liberal students fired up around the country, along with their parents.

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier today, the best paid generation of college presidents in the history of the United States is also the least competent; many of the country’s universities have made terrible financial decisions and are now facing a day of reckoning — while students and parents go deeper into debt to fund both the failed dreams and the bad decision makers.

It’s an ugly scene, but it’s real.

Meanwhile, professors, as is well known, will most likely remain horribly underpaid and overworked. Contributions gladly accepted.

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