Academic Privilege By the Numbers

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

The nation and the Republican Party may or may not need ‘The Donald’ but a cursory look at what statistics we can extract from academia today suggests that the academic world needs somebody like him. That is, the Ivory Tower seems to require somebody who can and will say, “You’re fired.” Trustees come immediately to mind. That’s why we trust them.

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Gleaned from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2015-2016 Almanac, here is academia by the numbers:

  • 0.1% —growth in enrollment at 4-year public colleges (all other institutions of higher learning saw declines in enrollment.
  • 59.8% —“six-year graduation rate for all four-year institutions” of higher learning.
  • $100,000 —average salaries of professors
  • 36 —college presidents at private colleges earning more than $1 million in total compensation. Shirley Ann Jackson of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute still leads the pack with a total compensation package worth more than $7 million a year.
  • $28,302 —average tuition and fees at “public 4-year institutions” of higher learning.
  • 2 —college presidents at public universities earning more than $1 million in total compensation. For the record, they are Rodney Erickson at Penn State’s main campus and R. Bowen Loftin at Texas A & M.
  • 0.8% —percentage of new chief executives at colleges who were professors.