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We Are in Recession: I'll Work for Less - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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We Are in Recession: I'll Work for Less. Austerity, Public Accountability & the Free Market. Attempting to fit these sometimes competing values neatly together is becoming a major challenge for many administrators. Stabilizing Leadership Continuity Requires….

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Presentation Transcript
austerity public accountability the free market
Austerity, Public Accountability & the Free Market

Attempting to fit these sometimes competing values neatly together is becoming a major challenge for many administrators.

stabilizing leadership continuity requires
Stabilizing Leadership Continuity Requires…

FORESIGHT: ensuring a leadership legacy for the college is not always an inexpensive or popular task.

HINDSIGHT: looking back at past practices or the local culture may not always provide the clearest viewpoint, however it is where one must start.

A WORLD VIEW: balancing the free market with local expectations, personal values, expanding job expectations, & evolving customary practice is not so simplistic anymore.

what this presentation is not
What this presentation is NOT:
  • Not an example of everything our College does right.
  • Not an explanation of what you should do.
  • Not an indictment of compensation.
  • Not an indictment of Boards.
  • Not an indictment of College Administrators.
  • Not an indictment of the Faculty.
  • Not an indictment of the Public.
  • Not an indictment of Politicians.
  • Not a moral tale of Right versus Wrong.
  • Not an assumption that we have answers.
what this presentation is
What this presentation IS:
  • An attempt to have a necessary but highly uncomfortable conversation about leadership, stewardship and compensation in the current time period.
  • A desire to dialog about rationality, market forces, public discourse, and the role of higher education professionals in managing a sometimes controversial subject matter.
  • An attempt to rationally discuss where we should be going in compensation, how we justify it to the public, and how we bring back prestige to higher education professionals.
summer 2011 a case study new jersey
Summer 2011: A Case Study: New Jersey
  • New leadership in the Statehouse, a new agenda: not always friendly to public education.
  • Strong recession with negative impacts in the households of the people we serve (devastated housing markets, high unemployment, no jobs for college graduates, etc.).
  • A news media, full of low paid reporters, who are watching their industry die.
  • A series of sensational stories that drives the public discourse.
  • An anger filled public, close enough to Wall Street to feel impact of bank failure, but far enough away that the ‘villains’ are out of reach.
  • Public focus on unions and executive compensation.
summer 2011 a case study new jersey1
Summer 2011: A Case Study: New Jersey
  • Other Campus Activities
    • A series of very public Retirements/Resignations under pressure
    • Comptroller’s Office Investigation of NJ CC Presidential Compensation (ongoing)
    • In two year period, 5 of 19 presidents left institution under scrutiny, overall during same period 3 other presidents retired, and a series of other administrators were dismissed.
    • Hard time to be in the recruiting business for campuses.

Statewide look at Compensation

    • Newspapers OPRA All
    • Community Colleges vs. Senior Publics show no comparison
    • Some senior college president’s make more in retention bonuses.
    • Public Outcry: None
    • “College Professionals Make $”
    • Non-Story
    • Statewide Senior Public Organization shows guts.

Finally in August 2011

  • Hard searches for leaders become even more difficult in NJ
  • Dissention on campuses, notably in union contract discussions
  • Community College presidents being investigated by the state Comptrollers Office
  • Reputations Damaged
  • Trustee Reputations Damaged
  • Students Lose Again!
In this game of public austerity and accountability for Colleges, what is the best method of competing in the Free Market?
one drop can affect
One drop can affect…

every college in a system.

higher education compensation
Higher Education Compensation
  • National Public Presidential Compensation
      • $1.8-million (Highest)
      • $440K (Median) – Senior Publics
      • $175K (Median) – Community Colleges
      • $88K (Lowest)
  • NJ Athletic Coaches
      • Football: $2.5-million
      • Basketball $500K (M) & $950K (W)

Looking into the future,

What is Higher Education to do?

clear expectations clear principles no guess work no understandings
Clear Expectations, Clear Principles, No Guess Work, No “Understandings”
  • Clear Expectations
  • No “Grey Areas”
  • Define Your Community Tolerance Levels in Advance
  • Be Public (Do not work in shadows for comfort’s sake)
  • Dialog about compensation, expenses, & reality
  • Put safeguards in place.
      • Internal Reviews (Annual)
      • External Reviews (Audit)
      • Succession Planning
      • Continuous Public Dialog
the ultimate loser in these conflicts
The ultimate loser in these conflicts

Legal fees &

‘buy-outs’ are

paid by our


What drives

our economic


What should

running our

colleges not be


Remember who

really pays the


  • Politics
  • Popularity
  • Personality
next step
Next Step…


  • Sometimes “No” is the best answer.
  • Build leadership from within, create a succession plan. We did our own, cost $0
  • Develop an “Exit Strategy” and stick to it.
  • Prepare yourself to be unpopular and stand up to the public/politicians (sometimes they are wrong)
  • Develop Trust
  • Be Fair, Just, & Principled.
  • Stay ahead of the curve.