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University Faculty and President Salaries: In the News


Faculty salaries at colleges and universities have been in the news quite a bit. As reported by, Penn State University is refusing to disclose university salaries, including the college coach salary of Joe Paterno. The salary information was requested by The Patriot-News, but Penn state has historically kept university salaries private. The school says that releasing salary information could result in "bidding wars" for their top coaches and teachers.

However, the Patriot-News claims that the salary information is part of the public accountability of Penn State – Pennsylvania’s largest university and supported by taxpayers. The newspaper had won a lower court decision in 2005, but Penn State is now appealing to the state’s highest court. In their appeal, Penn State says that its employees’ constitutional privacy rights are more important than its obligations as a public taxpayer-funded agency.

Is your salary worthy of secrecy? (Whisper: Find out with our salary calculator.)

College Coach Salary vs. College President Salary

There is more salary news out west. The reports that University of Utah President Michael Young now earns the highest college president salary in the state. Young was awarded a 5 percent increase by the Utah State Board of Regents, bringing his annual salary up to $320,000. That salary reportedly is in addition to Young’s retirement funds, his Mercedes, and a home in an affluent neighborhood, which are all part of his compensation package.

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Young was not the only one to get a raise. Salary increases for the rest of university and college presidents in Utah (approved on June 20th) range from 3.5 to 7 percent. These raises are part of an effort to bring Utah college salaries closer to the national average, which is reportedly close to $350,000. But Young and the rest of the university presidents lag far behind Kyle Whittingham, head football coach of the University of Utah; he reportedly earned around $690,000 in 2006.

University of Iowa Salaries

Over in Iowa, reports that another college president salary is going up. Newly-appointed University of Iowa president Sally Mason will earn a base salary of $450,000. The State Board of Regents says her salary reflects the kind of pay needed to attract top candidates. Regent Bob Downer says that more salaries may be increased at Iowa universities, including ISU President Gregory Geoffroy who currently earns an annual salary of $323,307. Regent David Miles, the State Board President pro tem, says that keeping university presidential salaries “competitive” is important.

The Chronicle of Higher Education report (a study released in November of 2006) reported that more and more college presidents are earning at least $500,000 in salary. The report said that 42 public university presidents earned a salary of more than $500,000 in 2006-07; an increase of 23 presidents from the year before. The report added that the median pay package for public university presidents this year was $374,846, a 4 percent increase. It would appear that higher education definitely pays.

Is your salary competitive? Does it make the grade? The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. When you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale’s full salary survey.


Dr. Al Lee

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