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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The high cost of college (presidents)

It's become hard enough to afford college with the cost of tuition, room, board and books. Paying to support a college president living like a business tycoon is a bit much.

OK, so I overstated things just a tad -- no Wall Street executive would work for a shabby six-or-seven figure salary. But education, particularly higher education, is supposedly different. It is about the pursuit of knowledge, not dollars. (Yeah, another overstatement.)

And spare me the rationale that these are multi-million or billion dollar enterprises that need skilled business leaders. I'm not necessarily ready to believe someone trained in philosophy or quantum physics has the right set of tools to lead a business of this size and complexity.

It's hardly surprising that my alma mater, Boston University, is once again a member of the seven-figure club. Kant scholar, political candidate and all-round alumni denigrator John Silber helped lead the salary inflation march -- and still lives rent-free in a BU mansion next door to current millionaire boss Robert Brown.

And I'm a bit puzzled about what Drew Gilpin Faust did to earn her $822,000 annual salary -- other than preside over the dismantling of a North Allston neighborhood, thanks in part to the poor financial oversight of the Harvard endowment by her predecessor, Larry Summers.

That's why I support my graduate school with donations earmarked for student scholarships. And why I am proud to be a member of NOPE, Not One Penny Ever, at BU (if only it existed!)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

But isn't that what liberal elitism is all about. That's what makes Mass so blue. We have a high concentration of acedemics who are out of touch with the real working world and have a sense of entitlement.

November 15, 2010 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, being out of touch means that you don't realize that these salaries exist in colleges all around the country, even in red states, and reliably conservative colleges.

November 15, 2010 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the point is the higher than normal concentration of schools in Mass. Worcester alone has 7 colleges, Boston has ??. These ivory towers insulate the occupants from the real world. Granted the red states have a few of these, but not in such numbers.

November 15, 2010 10:31 AM  

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