State/National News

Florida Universities Rank High in Presidential Pay

By Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel, May 21, 2012

Florida’s universities trail the nation when it comes to state funding and academic rankings, but they do score high in one area: pay for their top leaders.

The median pay for presidents of the eight research universities in Florida was $510,000 during 2010-11 school year, compared to $421,000 nationally, according to an analysis released Monday by the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” an academic news journal. Total compensation for the current year isn’t available yet for all institutions, since some presidents are still eligible for bonuses.

In South Florida, Mark Rosenberg, of Florida International University, received $561,875, ranking him as 38th best-paid in the country. On the lower end, Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders, was paid $381,161 during her first full year on the job. Officials from the two schools couldn’t be reached for comment Monday despite calls to their offices.

Five university presidents had salaries exceeding $500,000, which could send the wrong message to the public at a time when universities are facing steep budget cuts and have been raising tuition 15 percent a year, critics say.

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