Administrative Bloat–with Ohio’s Public Universities Providing the Illustration: 2012 Update

Gordon Gee, Ohio State

2011: Total Compensation, $1,992,221: Base Salary, $814,157; Bonus Pay, $296,786; Deferred Compensation, Set Aside, $881,278.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 1.

2012: Total Compensation: $1,899,420; Base Salary, $830,439.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 3.

His compensation declined marginally, but he dropped three places in the rankings because two other presidents, Graham Spanier at Penn State and Jay Gogue at Auburn, resigned with very large retirement packages. After he was forced out at OSU president in 2013, Gee’s retirement deal as President Emeritus has dwarfed any previous deals, making him, by a very wide margin, the highest public university “non-president” in history.

Gregory Williams, University of Cincinnati

2011: Total Compensation, $510,000: Base Salary, $410,000; Deferred Compensation, Paid, $100,000.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 60.

2012: Total Compensation: $718, 765; Base Salary, $452,864.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 18.

He resigned under pressure, and he rose 42 places in the rankings.

■ Ronald M. Berkman, Cleveland State

2011: Total Compensation, $630,000: Base Salary, $400,000; Bonus Pay, $160,000; Deferred Compensation, Set Aside, $70,000.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 24.

2012: Total Compensation: $630,000; Base Salary, $400,000.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 39.

His compensation remained the same, but he dropped 15 places in the rankings.

David Hopkins, Wright State University

2011: Total Compensation, $502,088: Base Salary, $379,754; Bonus Pay, $73,334; Deferred Compensation, Set Aside, $50,000.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 63.

2012: Total Compensation: $625,606; Base Salary, $385,254.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 41.

He has risen 22 places in the rankings over the past year because his compensation increased by more than $123,000.

Lester A. Lefton, Kent State University

2011: Total Compensation, $571,970: Base Salary, $401,576; Bonus Pay, $170,394.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 37.

2012: Total Compensation: 624,248; Base Salary, $409,608.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 43.

He has dropped six places in the rankings, even though his compensation has increased by more than $52,000.

Lloyd A. Jacobs, University of Toledo

2011: Total Compensation, $542,700: Base Salary, $392,700; Deferred Compensation, Set Aside, $150,000..

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 47.

2012: Total Compensation: $575,943; Base Salary, $392,700.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 54.

He has dropped seven places in the rankings, even though his compensation has increased by more than $33,000.

David C. Hodge, Miami University

2011: Total Compensation, $430,000: Base Salary, $380,000; Deferred Compensation, Set Aside, $50,000.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 83.

2012: Total Compensation: $546,481; Base Salary, $399,228.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 64.

He has risen 19 places in the rankings because his compensation increased by more than $116,000.

Luis M. Proenza, University of Akron

2011: Total Compensation, $492,152: Base Salary, $405,000; Bonus Pay, $89,152.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 66.

2012: Total Compensation: $533,843; Base Salary, $425,250.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 68.

He has dropped two places in the rankings, even though his compensation has increased by more than $41,000.

Roderick J. McDavis, Ohio University

2011: Total Compensation, $429,400: Base Salary, $383,000; Deferred Compensation, Paid, $45,600.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 84.

2012: Total Compensation: $467,109; Base Salary, $390,321.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 90.

He has dropped six places in the rankings, even though his compensation has increased by more than $37,000.

Carol A. Cartwright, BGSU/Mary Ellen Mazey, BGSU

2011: Total Compensation, $388,823: Base Salary, $375,000; Deferred Compensation, Set Aside, $13,823,.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 109.

2012: Total Compensation: $427,637; Base Salary, $375,120.

Rank among Public University Presidents in the U.S.: 115.

Mazey ranks six places lower than her predecessor, even though her compensation is more than $39,000 higher than her predecessor’s.

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The rankings of the presidents of Ohio’s public universities by their compensation do not, of course, match their institutions’ rankings in any other survey that I have seen.

5 thoughts on “Administrative Bloat–with Ohio’s Public Universities Providing the Illustration: 2012 Update

  1. Good post. Thought I’d share something in the same vein from my neck of the woods, in re an online “article” on the retire of a Famus community college president.
    http://www.lohud.com/article/20131106/NEWS/311060052/
    I’ve commented, at length, and encourage others at Westchester CC to do the same:
    –I wonder if this might be a good time to point out that Dr. Hankin is and has been for years, the most handsomely recompensed public employee in Westchester County. Dr. Hankin’s current salary is $234,886. The college also provides him a vehicle, the county pays for some number of “professional-development” expenses, and Westchester Community College Foundation offers him up to $13,000 for various “out-of-pocket” expenses.
    The salary of the Westchester Cunty Executive, by way of comparison, is about $161,000.
    On the other hand, during Dr. Hankin’s his long tenure–the nation’s longest in such a position–Westchester Community College ceased to rely on a mostly full-time and reasonably compensated full-time faculty, and came to rely more and more on part-time adjunct faculty who must seek new positions at the end of every semester, whose hours are capped, who are paid about 1/3 per course what traditional full-timers earn, and who receive few benefits of any kind.
    I cannot report the exact numbers, because they are unclearly reported. For instance, according to the website http://www.mla.org/acad_work_data?id=197294 of the Modern Language Association, which keeps track of the national higher ed trend to rely more and more on very low-cost adjunct and contingent faculty, Westchester CC employs (by 2009) 214 full-time faculty, or so-called “regular tenure-stream faculty,” and 309 non-tenure track faculty–part-time adjuncts. Yet, according to the current WCC adjunct faculty handbook, and in such handbooks for the past 6 years, there are reported only 170 or fewer full-time faculty, and more than 800 part-time adjunct faculty. Furthermore, until two years ago, there were NO numbers listed in faculty handbooks or other college-provided and publicly available materials, to indicate that ANY adjuncts, who have been decades now the majority WCC faculty, were working at the college.
    Even on the current college website, under “Fact Book” for 2012-13 NO adjunct or other part-time faculty employees are reported, only, (here the figure is 165) full-time “teaching faculty.” http://www.sunywcc.edu/cms/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2012-2013-Final-Fact-Book.pdf
    The MLA site in referred to above, by the way, depends on federally reported numbers, numbers sent by colleges and universities, to IPEDS, which is the US Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS).
    So, depending on what source you use, you might conclude, either, and quite falsely, that WCC employs only a small group of full-time “regular” faculty, or, more accurately, that WCC teaching is overwhelmingly the responsibility of part-time adjunct faculty.
    No doubt it is the responsibility and mission of LoHud to report news of the retirement of a well-known public figure like Dr. Hankin, and to report laudatory remarks in regard to his career made by such figures as Timothy Carey, chairman of the WCC board, which body after all has overseen Dr. Hankin’s long employment. However, it is clear that there are other interesting matters to explore in regard to the important role that WCC plays in our county’s educational, political, and economic lives.
    Dr. Alan Trevithick, adjunct professor of sociology and anthropology, Westchester Community College, Laguardia Community College, and Fordham University, member, Adjunct Committee, WCCFT, and board member, New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Faculty.

    • Thank you for this comment. I think that this is an issue that requires persistent exposure and that cannot be over-exposed.

      In just this one year, almost all of the presidents on this list have received increases in compensation in excess of what even the most over-extended adjunct faculty member could ever hope to earn in a year. Indeed, several of them have received increases for this single year well in excess of the average annual salary for full professors nationwide.

      Moreover, when one considers how many of them have lost some ground in the rankings despite $30,000 to $50,000 increases in their compensation, it becomes clear that this problem is not exclusive to Ohio.

      Lastly, as I emphasized in my previous post on this topic, to which this post provides an update, this sort of salary bloat is reflected in the proportionate salaries being received by the ever-proliferating cadres of provosts, vice-presidents, directors, and other upper and middle administrators–and in the numbers of staff required to serve them.

  2. Marty – informative stuff but let’s not forget the real administrative bloat problem – which really isn’t the exorbitant salaries of the corporate heads of our PUBLIC universities. The real problem is the decades long policy, shared nationwide, of hiring cadres of non-teaching staff. This would include ridiculous numbers of associate and assistant vice presidents, subordinate provosts, each one with a three to ten person staff all their own.

    Last time I checked the numbers the bargaining unit faculty salaries and benefits combined averaged about 18% of the total state university “budget” and that is shrinking as faculty retire and aren’t replaced.

    I’m horrified to admit that I believe higher education is beyond repair.
    -ddw

    • Dave:

      I agree completely about the scope of the problem. Here are the last two paragraphs from the post to which this post is an update:

      “But, as Benjamin Ginsberg has pointed out in his seminal work The Fall of the Faculty, the real issue is the way in which resources have been shifted from instruction to administration as middle- and lower-level administrators and administrative support staff have steadily, even inexorably continued to proliferate—despite the fiscal impact of the ‘Great Recession.’

      “Continuing the focus on the public universities in my state of Ohio, between 2002 and 2012, the total employees at those universities decreased by almost 8% from 42,397 to 39,115. The biggest decline was among non-professional employees, a 29% decline from 16,995 to 12,031. That decline is largely the result of the universities’ increasingly privatizing their bookstores, dining services, custodial and maintenance services, etc.; thus, most of those eliminated positions were relatively low-paying. Over that same period, the number of administrators and administrative staff increased by 7% from 14,671 to 15,656. The number of full-time instructional faculty comparably increased, by 8%, 10,478 to 11,312. But that increase disguises a considerable shift from tenured and tenure-track faculty to non-tenure-eligible or contingent faculty. The number of tenured and tenure-eligible faculty declined by 5% from 9,101 to 8,668, while the number of non-tenure-eligible or contingent faculty increased by 92% from 1,377 to 2, 644. Over the same period, the number of part-time faculty increased by 43% from 6,924 to 9,884. And the number of graduate students increased by 11% from 12,727 to 14,116. Except for this last category which would not be applicable, I suspect that all of these trends will be all the more evident among the statistics for the state’s 23 community colleges.”

      Although I don’t think that things are ever going to go back to how they were at any given point in the past, I do think that in higher ed, as elsewhere, the pendulum does eventually have to swing back. And it does seem as if the corporatizers have been pushing things to such a ridiculous extreme that some undoing of what they have done is inevitable.

      Where that will leave us, who knows.

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