Black Woman Becomes Highest Paid College President
Ryan McVay

Doctor, lawyer, school president? Parents across the country should be encouraging their kids to grow up to one day become a big success running an institution of higher education. It seems to have done well by Shirley Ann Jackson, who in 2008 made $1,598,247, making her the highest paid private university executive serving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

While most people are have been suffering with stagnant salaries, private college and university presidents earned a median salary of $358,746 in the 2007-08 academic year, a 6.5 percent increase from the previous year, although it’s being said that many of them have now taken pay cuts that were not reflected in this analysis. Meanwhile, the average student at a private college now pays $26,200 annually in school fees and that number is still increasing.

Ms. Jackson, a physicist and former chairwoman of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been at Rensselaer for 10 years but became the highest-paid university president just two years later. There are 23 other private college presidents who made over $1 million in total compensation, while another 110 made more than $500,000.

The top 10 list looks like this:
1. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: $1,598,247
2. David Sargent, Suffolk University: $1,496,593
3. Steadman Upham, University of Tulsa: $1,485,275
4. Richard Meyers, Webster University: $1,429,738
5. Cornelius M. Kerwin, American University: $1,419,339
6. Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia: $1,380,035
7. Donald V. DeRosa, University of the Pacific: $1,350,743
8. John E. Sexton, New York University: $1,297,475
9. Robert Bottoms, DePauw University: $1,296,455
10. Jerry C. Lee, National University: $1,189,777

Do you think college presidents are justified in making this much?