A great take by Richard Vedder:
The public is increasingly interested in and incensed about sharp increases in the pay of top university officials. Those increases seem hard to justify at a time of high tuition fees, when more colleges face a shaky financial future as enrollments level off or decline and taxpayer and philanthropic contributions stagnate, and with a national economy whose growth is trending sharply downward (annual output rose around 3.6 percent annually in most of the 20th century, compared with about 2 percent now).
A friend of mine, a former president of one of the nation’s leading universities, the University of Michigan, told me that he made $196,000 in his last year as president, 1995-96. Seven years later, Mary Sue Coleman became Michigan’s president at a salary of $450,000 a year; in her last year there, 2013-14, she made, with various supplements on top of a $600,000 base pay, nearly $1 million.