Fred Nathan ’83 is the Executive Director at Think New Mexico, “a results-oriented think tank serving the citizens of New Mexico.” He writes:

We strive to be completely transparent and accountable to the public and to our donors, and we always publish all of our financial information in our annual reports, which are available on our website. This includes the percentage of our revenue that is spent on fund-raising and administration. Maybe that is why in our eight year history, no one has ever asked for that information. My salary is $77,175, which makes me the highest paid employee at Think New Mexico. Excessive nonprofit CEO compensation is a national scandal and could be stopped relatively quickly by the national foundations that subsidize it.

An Eph after my own heart! If Think New Mexico can publish it IRS Form 990 on its website, then why can’t Williams. If Think New Mexico can avoid excessive pay, then why can’t Williams? It’s too bad that Ephs like Fred Nathan and me are powerless to establish these sorts of policies at Williams.

Oh, wait! I am powerless, but Fred Nathan is a Williams trustee! One call from him would cause interim President Bill Wagner to place the Williams Form 990s on the College’s webpage. (Other trustees might not be in favor of this, but they are unlikely to stand against one trustee’s determined insistence that Williams become more transparent.)

Moreover, now is the perfect time to get run-away presidential compensation at Williams under control. Nathan is not powerful enough to do this himself, but he ought to start making some noise about it, at least if he really believes that “nonprofit CEO compensation is a national scandal.”

The Presidential Search Committee should just inform that 15 or so finalists that the expected compensation will be around $250,000. Any who don’t want the job unless it pays big bucks are probably precisely the ones that we don’t want to hire anyway. Might a couple of candidates pull out? Sure. But you would still have ten or more amazing folks to choose from, people who think of the Williams presidency as a dream job and not as a way to get rich.

If it is good enough for Think New Mexico, it is good enough for Williams.

All my leftist friends are always complaining about the rise in income inequality in America. Fine. Now is their chance to do something about it. Will they speak up?

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