Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Inequality begins in college, with presidents' pay

College students are experiencing inequality even before they enter the workforce, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies.

Students at public universities with the highest paid presidents have the fastest growing student loan debt and the lowest paid graduate assistants, the study concludes.

And here's a shock: Two-thirds of all faculty in U.S. colleges and universities work on a contingent basis with relatively low pay and with little or no benefits. (Sounds like the rest of the U.S. work force, doesn't it?)

Indebted college students are now graduating with an average of $29,400 in debt per borrower, Al Jazeera America reported. Once they get a diploma, it isn't easy finding a job -- unemployment among youth 16-24 in March was over 14 percent. And of the low-wage, temporary jobs being created, perhaps the less said the better.

The five most unequal universities in the United States are The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan and the University of Washington.

Pennsylvania State University hired its new president, Eric Barron, for a 'competitive and reasonable; $1 million-plus a year. But some of the most respected public universities in the country pay their presidents less than $500,000: University of California, Berkeley; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.