As student debt skyrockets, 61 college presidents make seven-figure salaries. Wait, what?
Student-loan debt is skyrocketing to unsustainable levels. It is one thing to encourage students to take up higher education in service to society, their nation, and their own wallets; it is another to demand indentured servitude of anyone who obligingly takes up the offer. Want to devote yourself to understanding the causes of violence and their potential solutions? Advance our understanding of the ocean? Help celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our ancestors? Design a highway bridge that doesn’t kill the first truck driver to drive across? Teach? You are a bold and noble person—and one who may be paying back student loans until Miami disappears underwater, while struggling with a salary that may barely qualify as survivable.
On the other hand, 61 of our college and university presidents are making seven-figure salaries, and what the hell is that all about?
That figure, from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ranking of compensation for the heads of U.S. colleges, is up from the previous year’s total of 58 million-dollar winners. Former Baylor University president Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who pursued President Bill Clinton, led the pack for 2016, the latest year for which data are available—but there should be a big asterisk next to his name.
Oh, absolutely. One cannot imagine a Baylor University without the dynamic presence of the now-booted Ken Starr. That severance-boosted $4.9 million is a small price to pay for all Ken Starr did for the students of that particular school; not just anyone can botch campus sexual-assault charges to an extent that makes national news.