Response to recent conversation

Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog debated the hefty raises given to public college presidents by the Board of Regents and the small increases handed out to faculty. Here is a sampling of reader comments:

FickleFan: Congrats to the presidents and top administrators now working in the Georgia University System. You have acquired the goose that laid the golden egg. You have boarded that big snowball running down a fast, snowy hill with no bottomand growing exponentially as it speeds along. The myth that the University System just cannot find and hire the qualified leaders that it needs has been accepted as reality inside the halls of the system. And this trend is just beginning. We will be seeing $1.5 million and $2.0 million packages before long. That is how it works.

Broch: The Regents treats the presidents as income centers because they bring income into the system. The presidents must have their staffs of administrators to do the work. The Regents treats most faculty as cost centers because they do not bring income into the system; faculty who bring in large research projects with external funding are treated as income centers.That's the difference. Faculty are a dime a dozen, particularly adjunct faculty.

Georgian: I get it — faculty just bring in students and presidents bring in money. We can let the presidents bring in money without students to add millions of free revenue to the state of Georgia.

Dr.Phil: I retired as an associate professor in 2006. At that time, Michael Adams was in the top 10 public university presidents in terms of pay and benefits. One problem with these excessive salaries is, university president have become professional politicians rather than educators. Adams is the poster child for this new kind of administrator. His main interest was entertaining Gov. Sonny Perdue and state legislators at football games in a suite worthy of a Roman Emperor. From personal experience, I can attest that these guys are not that talented and easily could be replaced.

Coj: And like the corporate sector the workers pay the price for bad marketing and bad management while upper management reaps the benefits of compensation.

George: Time for this country to wise up and remove the not-for-profit status from most major universities and colleges. They could receive 1:1 tax credits for any scholarship dollars given but the rest of their revenue should be taxable. These institutions have been abusing the system for years through frivolous spending and amassing endowments all the while tuition rates continue to skyrocket. Even sans the large pay increases of their presidents, most university professors do extremely well with their pay+benefits+flexible schedules — something they'd never find in the for-profit world. One day soon this bubble will burst as tuition rates rise to a level far unsupported by the salary opportunities of their graduates. Stripping their non-profit status now would force them to become more competitive and adapt to changing economic times.

Creative: The number of administrators on college campuses has grown exponentially in the last 30 years to where some schools have just as many "administrators" as professors.