But Starr is only one of 60 or so others to gain million-dollar-plus payments in 2016, while universities continue to hike tuition and students drown in debt that previous generations simply didn’t have. Most of the others are not so (in)famous. Columbia University’s president is probably worth the nearly $4 million the trustees shoveled his way, by virtue of take-your-pick, and Texas Christian University’s leader gets nearly three million because that is obviously what Texas Jesus wants. You have to take into account the stress of the position. There are fundraisers to go to, and alumni to shake down, and, in some cases, sexual assault allegations to cover up. You other academics out there don’t know stress.
Without getting too far into the cynical weeds, though: Is this OK? Is it a symptom of a tight market for top administrative positions in education? A symptom of profit-taking at student and alumni expense? Is higher education a career that should be amenable to million-dollar salaries at any level, even the top ones?
Not a clue. Apparently, though, our previous assumptions that becoming an educator wasn’t generally the path to riches has one very significant loophole, and a very curious one.