RPI's Shirley Ann Jackson tops rankings of nation's highest-paid private college presidents

shirley jackson croppedRPI president Shirley Ann Jackson topped the list of the nation's highest paid private college president in 2012, according to an analysis by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Jackson's total compensation -- $7.1 million -- was more than 3.38 million higher than that of the second president on the list.

Jackson's base pay for 2012 was $945k. The bulk of her compensation came in the form of a deferred compensation payout worth $5.9 million. (One reason why her compensation in 2012 was much higher than the somewhat-over-$1 million range it had been in recent years.)

The Chronicle's website has a detailed breakdown of the numbers for each president. In Jackson's case, her total compensation also ranked third in the nation when calculated as compensation per institution total expenditures. And it ranked in the 99th percentile nationally for base pay to faculty salary ratio.

The Chronicle collected the info from the RPI's Form 990 filing, which all non-profits must file. You can look it up for free over at Guidestar. (The compensation figures are from page 14.)

To go along with the top spot in the compensation ranking, the Chronicle also added a long article looking at Jackson's tenure at RPI. It notes Jackson will likely be remembered as "a trailblazing president, whose unparalleled vision and determination transformed a respectable regional private college into a nationally recognized research institution" -- but it also includes extensive criticism of her, describing "tales of an imperial air and cowed staff." Here's a clip:

Ms. Jackson would hardly be the first college president to make staff changes early on, and more than a few other leaders might also chafe at the idea of someone squatting in their offices. To some observers, however, those early episodes foreshadowed her highly formal approach and territorial nature.
Ms. Jackson's rules are clear to everyone now:
Only she is authorized to set the temperature in conference rooms.
Cabinet members all rise when she enters the room.
If food is served in a meeting, vice presidents often clear her plate.
If a meeting is called for 8 a.m., Ms. Jackson may not arrive until 9:30 a.m. Everyone waits.
Ms. Jackson is always to be publicly introduced as "The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson."
"It is the Shirley show," a former staff member says. "At cabinet meetings, they all stand, they get her seat. It's just weird. It's not normal."


That's Shirley, Miss Jackson if you're nasty.

The whole thing becomes even more grotesque when you consider the fact that more and more classes at RPI are taught by adjuncts on starvation wages. Meanwhile, tuition is $45,000/year and RPI has fallen out of the top tier of American engineering schools.

I would think paying your school president more than double the second-highest earning private school president would cause considerable backlash when it comes to alumni donations. Who would donate to their school when they know it will be used to pay a ridiculous salary instead of going toward things that may better the next generation of RPI student's education?

$19,500/day (counting all 365 days as work days), or $815/hour, assuming she doesn't sleep. That buys a lot of meat and potatoes.In what scale are we really this lady and the like? Beffudling!

The inequity goes beyond the administration and faculty - how can a school president happily accept this amount of money knowing that there are building on campus that are still loaded down with asbestos?

She needs to be ousted immediately.

Isnt her job to really just reap cash for the college? Im sure there is some other schmo that has a job that actually has to deal with educational concerns.

Also - She is at Bilderberg now, probably trying to GET THAT CASH.
Total New World Order, Illuminati, Lizard Person.

A quiet rage has simmered for a long, long time at RPI and the faculty and staff are completely hamstrung when dealing with the administration. She has paid off her VP-level lackeys all of whom unquestionably obey her top-down edicts. The staff haven't seen meaningful raises in at least five years (no, a 0.5% raise isn't really meaningful) and all the while older buildings on campus fall into obsolescence and disrepair. Sad really - it used to be a nice place to work.

Every time they call looking for money I point out where they've invested money lately and Ms. Jackson's salary. They finally stopped calling. :)

A revealing quote from the Chronicle of Higher Education article:

Ms. Jackson made clear that her presidency would be different, scoffing at any notion that the institute was no better than a small outpost of the State University of New York. "We’re not SUNY-Troy," a former vice president recalls her saying. "We’re RPI. I’m an elitist, and I’m proud of that.’"

The Chronicle article is only the tip of the iceberg. As someone who has seen this woman in action firsthand and knows of the abuse and reckless firings perpetrated against professionals who dared speak up to her, I can only hope that this kind of attention will ultimately lead the Board of Trustees to come to their senses. Everyone in the Capital Region and academia know about this egotistical tyrant, why not them? She has ransacked the coffers to little avail. It is long past time for her to go.

And this isn't even counting her royalties from "The Lottery."

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