Sunday, June 05, 2022

Iowa's Rising Tide Lifts Yachts

"A rising tide lifts all boats"? Not in Iowa. Not according to the Board of Regents. Apparently they think it's too stressful to ask a University of Iowa president to try to survive on $600,000 a year (plus free housing, numerous other benefits, and little going away gifts that can approach $1 million or more when they finally leave for a better offer elsewhere).

So they decided to give her a little $50,000 raise.

Not incidentally, $50,000 is more than the median total annual income of Iowa men and women ($46,375)

Compare this with class act David Skorton who, when asked if he was leaving because the Regents failed to raise his pay replied, not at all, "in a state in which the median income is in the $40,000 range, a salary of $300,000-plus is really 'quite generous.'" [Photo: wikimedia commons; Dave Skorton]

I appreciate this is going on throughout America's universities, and even more outrageous with football coaches and assistant coaches, but I think it is both unnecessary and especially offensive when students are struggling with paying off significant loans for rising tuition.

When I was running in a Democratic primary for U.S. House, I promised constituents I would live on whatever was the median income for Iowans. Can't we at least agree that Iowa's state university presidents total income should not exceed TEN TIMES the average Iowan's income? Isn't $400,000 to $500,000 a year enough to live comfortably in Ames or Iowa City?

No, in Iowa a rising tide does not lift all the boats -- just the yachts.

University of Iowa's Old Capitol, where the gold only goes to, and stays at, the top. [Photo credit: wikimedia commons, Tony Webster, Minneapolis.]


Vanessa Miller, "Regents Approve 8.3% Raises for UI, ISU Presidents," The Gazette, June 3, 2022, p. A1,

For Iowa median salaries, Iowa State Data Center,

David Skorton quote, contained within "UI President Search XVIII - Dec. 26-31," Dec. 26, 2006,

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Tags: #IowaStateUniversity, #IowaStateUniversties, #UniversityOfIowa, #UniversityPresidentsSalaries, #studentloans

1 comment:

Taiji218 said...

Exactly my point of view! Especially when universities can become incestuous "good ol'boys" networks where they folks favored at the top are advanced beyond their qualifications or outside of their specialties. I remember one guy who was buddies with one of the VPs at the university I worked for who was brought into a department he'd never worked in, and the director of the department told congratulations! he now had a co-director! The new co-director came out and said to the director he had no idea about how the department worked. Over the next few months the "co-director" assumed more responsibilities and the former director, who'd built up the department to national recognition, was edged out until he finally retired. I saw this time after time after time.