Wick Sloane ’76 is a tounge-in-cheek applicant for the presidency of the University of Iowa.

I’ll take the Iowa job for the lower of $250,000 and a house or half whatever compensation package is now on the table. No raises, no bonuses, no country club memberships. I do want the difference, though, for staff development, for faculty travel and research, and for scholarships. Check out the rules for service contracting for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. Shouldn’t these low-cost principles apply for the U.I. presidency? Of course executive recruiters say high pay is the answer. Recruiters’ pay is a percentage of total compensation. As U.I. president, I’ll also propose eliminating federal tax benefits for any university or college paying a president more than $250,000 plus a house. The job is public service, a privilege, not a hedge fund. The cheers from families every graduation are the incentive pay.

Interesting stuff. Wick and I disagree about most things political, but we agree that college administrators are ludicrously overpaid. (Perhaps a subscriber to the Chronicle of Higher Education could provide us with the latest on Morty and his peer group’s salary.) Previous EphBlog commentary/discussion on presidential pay here, here and here (one of my all-time favorite posts). The question that I asked two years ago was:

If the growth rate of 9% per year continues, then Morty (or his successor) will break the $1 million mark in 2013. As always, my question to defenders of the current system is not: Is Morty paid too much? My question is: At what point should I — as a concerned alum from whom the College is always asking for more money — become concerned that the President of Williams is being paid too much? Is it $600,000, $800,000, $1 million, $4 million or what? How much is too much? Tell me now so that I can know when to start worrying.

No one has given me a good answer.

UPDATE: I am e-mailed Wick to see if he has anything to add to the conversation. I hope that he will chime in.

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