RPI's Jackson tops compensation chart

Shirley Jackson

The chair of RPI's board of trustees says the board is "extremely pleased with our president."

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported today that RPI president Shirley Ann Jackson was the nation's highest-paid private college leader for 2007-2008. The publication pegged her pay package at $1,598,247.

In a press release, the school pointed out that Jackson's chart-topping total came before the economic downturn and stressed that Jackson gave five percent of her salary to a student scholarship fund this year.

That release also says Jackson's "approach to the economic crisis was clear, decisive, and strategic." That plan included layoffs, which prompted some frustration and resentment on campus.

An editor for the Chronicle told reporters on a conference call that university president compensation has been rising faster than inflation in part because "it's increasingly hard to find these people."

Of Jackson, William Walker -- RPI's vice president of strategic communications and external relations -- told the TU: "She is worth every penny."

Earlier on AOA: Skidmore, Union, RPI among nation's most expensive


Oh, this makes me so angry! >:-( No one at RPI thinks Shirley-Ann is "worth every penny", except the BoD who LOVES her!

Re the argument that the only way to get/retain the best people is to keep upping the compensation to beat out the competition (same argument that is applied to Wall St execs)--isn't there a name for people who sell their services to the highest bidder? Is money the only reward these people value? What about silly things like commitment to the organization's mission; personal values; or loyalty?

Don't forget this one, too: http://www.timesunion.com/ASPStories/Story.asp?StoryID=860745

Looks like Dr. Jackson is having quite a good year.

By the chart I linked to, let's assume it costs the average kid $5,000 to attend SUNYA for one year (forget the added expenses). Four years of school = $20k total. If Dr. J took one year of her salary and created a four year scholarship program - she could send nearly 80 people to college bachelorhood all by herself.

Think about that for a while, folks. 80 kids. Full college educations. One person, one year of pay.

That release also says Jackson's "approach to the economic crisis was clear, decisive, and strategic.

Right, because nothing says "let's help the economy" by laying people off. Before Christmas.

RPI has a long ways to go in terms of being a meaningful contributor to the Capital Region community. That's our vantage point. But in terms of the higher ed world, Jackson has moved Rensselaer into the nation's top tier of universities.

I just want a t-shirt. In 2000 I bought a t-shirt at the RPI bookstore that had "Why Not Change the World?" printed on it. I would like to get another one, but they don't sell them anymore. I've called and emailed the bookstore on several occasions over a couple of years, but the answer is always, "we just don't sell them anymore" or something like that.

Am I asking too much? Are there any RPI students or alumni out there that would like to have a "why not change the world?" t-shirt? If enough people called or emailed the RPI bookstore maybe they would change their mind and have a few t-shirts printed.

What do you think? Did you ever own a t-shirt from RPI with, "why not change the world?" on it?

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