UPDATED: The One Percent at State U

An earlier version of the report, “The One Percent at State U,” released on May 18, 2014 found that student debt and low-wage faculty labor are rising faster at the 25 state universities with the highest-paid presidents.

After minor revisions due to updated data from the American Federation of Teachers, the report still concludes that student debt and low-wage faculty labor are rising faster at the state universities with the 25 highest-paid presidents. The issues of high executive pay, rising student debt, and rising low-wage faculty labor are closely related and should be addressed together in the future.

Key Findings:

  • The student debt crisis is worse at state schools with the highest-paid presidents. The sharpest rise in student debt at the top 25 occurred when executive compensation soared the highest.
  • As students went deeper in debt, administrative spending outstripped scholarship spending by more than 2 to 1 at state schools with the highest-paid presidents.
  • At state schools with the highest-paid presidents, part-time adjunct faculty increased 22 percent faster than the national average at all universities.
  • At state schools with the highest-paid presidents, permanent faculty declined dramatically as a percentage of all faculty. By fall 2009, part-time and contingent faculty at the top 25 outnumbered permanent faculty for the first time.
  • Average executive pay at the top 25 rose to nearly $1 million by 2012– increasing more than twice as fast as the national average at public research universities.

While the updated data did not alter the report’s overall findings, it results in the following changes to the Top 5 Most Unequal Public Universities: The University of Minnesota dropped from #3 to #4; the University of Michigan rose from #4 to #3; and the University of Delaware became #5. All data related to president pay and student debt levels were unaffected.

Download the updated version of the report.

For additional questions about the report, please contact:

  • Marjorie Wood, report co-author and Economic Policy Associate, Institute for Policy Studies, [email protected], tel: 202 787 5237.
  • Elaine de Leon, Communications Director, Institute for Policy Studies, [email protected], tel: 202 787 5271