piggy bank on calculatorI was looking at the HT database of salaries for Indiana University employees and discovered something interesting: a lot of people at IU make a lot of money. Nearly 1,000 employees make over $100,000.00 per year.

This is in no way thorough but I simply went in and choose 2011 as a parameter and then starting putting in minimum salary numbers.  The results are as follows.

Salary Range: Number of “Earners”

100-125k: 388

125-150k: 231

150-175k:  124

175-200k: 88

200-225k: 51

225-250k: 36

250-275k: 9

275-300k: 11

300k+: 12

Of those top earners, one must understand that their remuneration includes other compensation items, as the HT’s Mike Leonard noted about the Head basketball coach making an additional 1.6m in product marketing bonuses.  Leonard also noted that

In August 2010, President Michael A. McRobbie said the university’s financial status was stable enough to grant all employees an average of a 2 percent annual raise, based on merit, and implemented in November. He also left room for top performers to gain as much as 6 percent over their previous salaries.

This year, the university approved 1.5 percent average raises for all employees with another 1 percent set aside for outstanding faculty. The president also said some merit raises could go as high as 5.5 percent.

In a separate commentary Leonard noted that McRobbie himself received a nearly 22% increase in base salary, 4 times the “cap” for merit-based increases.  Clearly, some folks are worth it!  The reason given that Leonard passes on is that many of these folks “took on additional responsibilities”.

Well, you make what you want out of those numbers, but it seems like it might be fun to discover top earners by department.  I won’t belabor it and won’t be comprehensive.  Maybe you can make some guesses as to the highest paid departments!

Mathematics: 68 names.  17 make above 100k with the top of 200k going to a Russian earning 54k more than the department head.  He must have been a “get” in his field.

Marketing: 36 names. 12 above 150k with two near 250k.  (Only one above 150k in Math…hmmm.)

I’m not sure how to deal with Business departments.  It seems a shame that it’s such a major concern.  If American economic life is all about business it seems odd that one needs to go to school for it.  It should come as naturally as breathing.

How about Finance first as it’s the sector that tanks our economy as often as possible?  36 names listed; 26 above 150k; 9 above 200k with a top of 288k for Matt Billett.  Billett has only 2011 information and almost no information on the faculty page but his name and his “professional” interests–”finance”–but according to a quick Google search he was formerly at the U of Iowa and before that at the FDIC.

How about just Economics?  This is grouped as a business sub-heading and as a standalone–combined 8 of these fine folks make over 200k.

Political Science? 8 folks 155-275k.

There’s a department called Operations & Decision Technology and the two top folks here make over 230k.  One assumes that means software does the work?

Law? 8 over 200k with a full 32 at 150 plus!  Nice.

Okay, well, as my friend JR has said, “why look at those…it’s just depressing.”  One certainly understands the pull to go to grad school as it is nearly all of Academia seems a clearly a remunerative field.  But hey, wait, I forgot about Education and Literature (Languages) and Music and Art…let’s check those too!  Aren’t these the vaunted “liberal arts”?

Uh oh, with 200k as the limiter for the search–no hits for English!  There is one hit above 150 (160k) and then only 13 at 100k or above.  To find higher pay in the liberal arts you’ve got to search for Deans and they don’t make more than the guys in Poli Sci and definitely nowhere near the Law profs.

Hey, let’s check the department they’re trying to axe–Languages (odd for liberal arts curricula to want to cut a core subject and one that seems necessary as the world continues to “shrink”).  First recall that the very-well paid IU President has co-written a letter to the Federal Dept of Education asking them not to cut a Federal program that funds language education.  So, Hoosiers want the feds to subsidize language education.  Perhaps the HT’s Mike Leonard could investigate this a bit.  I wonder how much IU gets from that federal program?  Well, I know that the university doesn’t overpay these profs as there are 2 of 49 who make over 100k (but below 140k).  But in the search we have to include dedicated departments to a particular language(s) like the French & Italian Department–24 members, 5 over 100k; Spanish & Portuguese, 38 members with 2 over 100k.  I’m not exactly sure how to delineate these categories further.  (Hey, maybe there’s a Lilly endowment available, or do they just fund research that will directly benefit their bottom-line?  You know I’m baiting you, Lilly-lovers, tell me how civic-minded they are.)

How about that immensely respected Music school?  Of 254 listed 18 crest 125k and only 6 above 150k with 2 of those in Admin.  And the revered cellist Janos Starker who has spent his entire career here, over 50 years? Well let’s just say that the recently acquired Matt Billett in Finance has him beat by over 100k.

“Recently acquired”…how does that phrase seem so applicable?  Aha!  This is somewhat like a sports team, right?  Outbidding rival universities for “hot commodities” who can put butts in the seats!  Matt Billett must swing for the fences while Janos Starker is a guy who hits steady singles (no glitz but real staying power–I know my preference).  Perhaps, like the basketball coach, Starker gets other compensation?

What about hard sciences?  Chemistry, 157 members, 27 over 100k, 16 over 150, 6 over 200k.  Physics, 91 members, 18 over 100k, 4 over 150, 0 over 200k.

It’s endlessly fascinating and one can imagine a kind of baseball card trading system for favorite players.

In the end though, one has to admit that higher education can be a lucrative career, the more business-oriented the better.  This I suppose is one way to assess the tenor of our times–the value of our society.  We pay speculators astronomical (astronomy, 14 members, 3 over 100k) amounts to defraud our economy and pay them nearly as well to get the appropriate degree to be able to do it.

Oh, and you know how the children are our future, teach them well and yada blah meh…187 members (from teaching to policy), 16 over 100k, and only 1 higher than 150.  That one, Gerardo Gonzalez, Dean of the School of Education, $267,000.00, is paid more like Matt Billett (and two assistant football coaches).

Can you discern what it is we value in a University education?

One further comment.  It should be recognized how easily I can do this couch potato analysis of salaries.  I could do this for the city as well (though of about 700 employees listed, none make over 100k with 17 over 75k) and Ivy Tech and the MCCSC (1700+, 7 over 100k, all admin; 42 over 75k, all but one, admin).

You know what I can’t do?  See what Cook employees make.  Or Eli Lilly.

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Douglas Storm is a host and producer for Interchange on Bloomington, Indiana's community radio station WFHB. "Why then do you try to 'enlarge' your mind? Subtilize it..."

4 Responses to “Higher Ed Privileges and Rewards Business Ed” Subscribe

  1. focus August 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    depressing doesn’t even start to describe my feelings on this. It pans out as Hedges has said–academia has bowed down to the almighty dollar and the almightly dollar comes from donors and benefactors and grants. And unfortunately your musicians, English teacher and Italian profs aren’t going to be getting any of that money. But your football coach will–it get butts in the stadium seats and alumni donations.

  2. dpopp August 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Related to the topic of wages/earnings…

    “IU Public Policy Institute examines income gap between Indiana, U.S.”

    http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/19224.html

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