Paychecks and Balances

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Bloomberg has an article today highlighting the salaries of some of the city’s biggest names in arts and culture. One name on the list is your president Lee C. Bollinger, who takes home a “$1.42 million package, which included $911,284 in base pay and $500,610 in benefits.”

This puts PrezBo’s salary a little under that of Northwestern’s President, whose $1.7 million paycheck is the largest among “private, nonprofit educational institutions.” Both salaries are just below the average price of a Nussbaum & Wu product.

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  1. dawg

    He makes more than the President! not surprising.

  2. nussbaum joke

    really, really lame. i mean, come on. we get it. nussbaum is overpriced. not funny.

  3. ...  

    often times i wish i went to a school where one day in the future i would want to give back.

    not saying that i ever will have anything to give back. but even if i did, i sure as hell wouldn't be sending it here.

  4. i remember  

    a Spec article 2 years ago comparing salaries of different presidents. Back then, I think Prezbo's salary (or at least base pay) was $600,000 and the NYU President's was $900,000. I guess Lee read the article too.

    • Exactly.

      I remember reading that too and thinking "that's very high, but ok, just about at the level of a CEO of a low-profit company." But this is truly beyond absurd. What did he do to merit a 100% increase in his salary over two years? This culture of outright corruption should not be tolerated. I like Bollinger in certain respects, but I often think it would be nice to have a president whose security detail didn't arrive sooner than the Secret Service at a speech delivered by the President of the United States.

      • Alum

        The appropriate comparison is between what Bollinger makes and what his peers make (adjusting for cost of living, performance and length of service), not between what he makes now and what he made in the past.

        Bollinger was underpaid two years ago, so the substantial increase was mainly a correction, not a problem in its own right. When he took office six years ago his initial salary was a lot less than George Rupp had been making. Had Rupp remained in office and continued getting the types of raises he's been getting, he would now be making much more than what Bollinger makes.

        The Trustees probably structured Bollinger's contract this way to reward good performance and to encourage him to stay for several years.

        • Underpaid?

          I don't think so. He still made, I believe, 5 times as much as a tenured professor, and ranked among the highest paid University presidents. This kind of uncontrolled and unmerited salaray growth sets the standard- it does not follow a standard. And it is a standard that should have never been set. A president of a University should be an academic among academics, not a king.

          • false

            You're under the false impression that Bollinger should fall within the context of the professoriat. Rather he is the CEO of an academic enterprise with a yearly budget of over $2 billion, and some of the most ridiculous internal politics of any organization you'll ever work in.

            Think of PrezBo as early-reign Louis XIV trying to establish sovreignty over the unruly and independent nobility.

          • true.

            It is an enterprise that measures its value in the scholarship that it produces, not an enterprise that measures its success in profit margins. The question of what one's role "should" be is not a question of impressions, but a question of priorities and beliefs. This is an academic institution. I contend that he should view himself as an academic.

          • Alum

            No one is measuring Columbia's success according to "profit margins". Producing the best scholarship means having the best faculty, students and facilities, and that costs money. In this setting, having a lot of money is a means rather than an end, but it's still critically important.

            Major universities (and other non-profits) need to operate according to sound management principles, so they need highly competent managers at their helms. Unlike other organizations, though, major universities need highly competent managers who are also respected scholars. Bollinger is "an academic" as you say he should be, but so are all of Columbia's other faculty. That doesn't mean they're all qualified to be president.

        • ...  

          that's the exact same thinking that resulted in ibanking salaries that are completely out of whack.

          at some point you have to stop aligning yourself with "what everyone else is doing" and think for yourself.

          • Alum

            I see. My opinion is different from yours, so you conclude that I don't know how to think for myself. There's no logic to such an answer, but it's a nice way to sidestep the merits of my argument.

  5. give me a glass  

    of that fine Bollinger Cabernet, with grapes grown in the Wein Courtyard.

  6. Alum

    The $500K figure for PrezBo's benefits package probably includes the market rental rate for his home in the President's House. The top two floors of that building are his apartment, and its fair rental value is probably something like $30,000 or more per month.

  7. mec  

    the head coach of the UC berkeley football team makes 3 million a year.

    important people make lots of money, but certainly not as much as the value they generate.

  8. No.

    But apparently you may have trouble reading. I simply said that you think one thing, and I think another.

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