Lies and Damn Lies

It seems obvious that any reform of academic culture– and any hope of restoring professional status to the adjunct majority–has to include a complete transformation of administrative culture. Here’s a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education (“4 Public-College Presidents Pass $1-Million Mark in Pay“) that illustrates not simply that universities pay their presidents too much but also that these presidents can be well compensated and practised liars.

The piece tells the story of one Jo Ann M. Gora, president of Ball State University, who apparently made a public show last year of turning down a salary increase. Meanwhile, in the backrooms, someone was having a bit of a laugh at the gullibility of the public:

Unmentioned, however, was a deferred-compensation payout of the same amount, which she received three weeks later. That payout, which had accumulated over five years, combined with other benefits to bring her 2011-12 total compensation to $984,647. Just four other public-college presidents in the nation made more than that.

I am not sure what is more amazing: that a university president could be paid a million dollars a year after years of rising tuition and shrinking numbers of full-time academic jobs or that President Gora is still president after being caught being so profoundly dishonest. That’s just a start. Graham B. Spanier, the highest paid president, “was fired in 2011 in connection with a child-sex-abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach.” Bob’s your Uncle!

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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