When you think about the careers that pay the highest wages what comes to mind? Your short list might include Heart Surgeons, Investment Bankers or Lawyers. Would you be surprised to learn that college presidents at major Alabama public universities will be near the top of any compensation list?
The 2010-2011 Chronicle of Higher Education's regular survey of presidential salaries looked at 199 chancellors of university systems and presidents of public, four year research universities. The findings in this report bode well for those in leadership positions in five of Alabama's college university systems with the Auburn University President leading the way in our state ranked at #12 out of #199 with a total comp plan of $722,500. The University of Alabama chancellor comes in at 27th place at $604,541. We have a tie at 29th with the president's for Alabama Tuscaloosa and Alabama Birmingham being compensated at $592,161. Coming in last but certainly not least is the University of South Alabama president with total comp of $570,000 ranked 38th nationally.
It is widely accepted that you get what you pay for and having a highly qualified university president that will plan, lead and develop an Alabama university now and into the future is critical for our state. We need to hire and retain the best people in the nation for these jobs and if we do that, their influence will pay dividends far and above the six figure salaries they receive.