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CCAP In the News

Posted on December 17th, 2012, by Leave a comment

In a new article at Minding the Campus, Richard Vedder discusses college presidential pay and the recent news that 25 of the 50 highest-paid university presidents don’t pay income taxes; their institutions cover it as a perk:

[T]his is still another example of universities avoiding transparency —no, let’s use a better word- -honesty. It is dishonest to tell the world “we pay our university president $500,000 a year” when, in fact, that person is getting a hidden fringe benefit so exotically outrageous that it is virtually unknown to the American public. American corporations, facing withering criticism from stockholders, abandoned this practice years ago. But universities have no stockholders, and trustees ordered to jump off the top of the school’s 30 foot climbing wall by the president typically will do so. There is little constraint on college presidents from their ostensible “bosses.”

At the New York Times, Andrew Martin wrote a featured piece on colleges acquiring large amounts of debt to finance building projects and

its effect on rising college tuition and the academic arms race. He quotes Richard Vedder:

Despite a lull in construction after the financial crisis, borrowing has continued to grow, Moody’s data shows. “Schools are behaving like the Greeks, irresponsibly,” said Richard K. Vedder, an economics professor at Ohio University and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. As an example, he cited his own employer, Ohio University, which has proposed spending $2.6 billion on construction projects in the next 20 years, half of it paid for by debt — an undertaking university officials said was necessary to update antiquated buildings.

“The Edifice Complex pervading higher education flies in the face of other trends that call for caution in capital spending,” Dr. Vedder said in an e-mail.

On National Review Online, Katrina Trinko quotes Richard Vedder when writing about efforts in Florida and Texas to offer a $10,000 degree:

Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and a professor at Ohio University, points to a variety of tools that colleges could use to reduce costs — including online education, reduction of administrative staff, and requiring professors to teach more hours. “There’s no reason a public-school education can’t

be offered for $10,000 a student,” he remarks.

For a blog at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Richard Vedder gets referenced on a post about differential pricing in colleges for majors:

I once was part of an interesting discussion with Emory President James Wagner — he was meeting with the AJC editorial board — on whether tuition should be calibrated so that an education major, for instance, pays less than an engineering major, whose education costs colleges more to provide. The issue came up during a broader discussion about rising college costs and possible solutions.

(Here is a good essay on this issue by Richard Vedderwho directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity at Ohio University.  If you read it, be sure to read the second comment in response to Vedder’s essay.)