Florida public colleges and universities have spent the past few years absorbing huge cuts in state funding. To balance the books, schools repeatedly raised tuition, and in some cases reduced class offerings or even postponed maintenance projects.
But there’s one budget line item that hasn’t taken much of a hit, and at times has even grown: college presidents’ salaries.
A pair of reports issued this week, one from The Chronicle of Higher Education and one from Florida’s Office of the Chief Inspector General, highlight how high six-figure salaries, along with hefty bonuses, car allowances and other perks, continue to be the norm in American higher education. University of Florida President Bernie Machen earned $834,562 in the 2012 fiscal year, according to the Chronicle’s annual Executive Compensation analysis. That number was enough to make Machen the nation’s ninth-highest-paid public university president. (On campus, he falls far behind UF men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan, whose salary is $3.3 million, according to Forbes).
Machen’s compensation was roughly 55 percent higher than what he made the previous year, when he earned $539,007.