Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter
markgritter

Somebody Needs a Compensation Consultant

I was browsing back through the PhD comic archive and found this:



(Not entirely a fair comparison, should compare median<->median, not median<->mean. Also the grad student survey is from 2001, other numbers are more recent.)

As an example, UMN paid its football coach $1.2M in 2007. The university president earned $733,421 for 2008, placing him 7th in the nation among state universities. About $423K in salary, most of the rest was a retirement benefit.

Without getting into the issue of who "deserves" more, one might wonder at the discrepancy. Certainly it's nontrivial to find a leader of any sort, but it's not obvious why the market rate for football coaches should be higher. Football coaches compete in a much more limited market than university presidents--- can't the latter make the transition into the public sector and compete for CEO jobs? (Maybe not.)

Ideas:

1. University presidents don't have agents.

2. University presidents can't effectively tie their compensation to objective metrics, or to a particular income stream. They thus have a harder time convincing others of their "worth".

3. University presidents draw their salary from a pool of academic and administrative salaries--- often set by the Board of Regents or similar politically-influenced agency. Coaches negotiate with the athletic department instead. There is less public accountability and also less push for pay equity.
Tags: academics, comics, economics, minnesota
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