SUNY and CUNY administrators make a hefty salary
Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 3, 2011 14:04
Salaries of SUNY and CUNY employees made headlines two weeks ago when the Empire Center for New York State Policy released 2010 state employee salary data, which showed that nearly 1,000 state employees earned more than New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo. The data provided by The Empire Center focused on base salary and did not include the cost of pension and most benefits, which sometimes can add as much as $100,000.
The fact that a number of CUNY officials are highly paid is not a secret. In fall 2009, the CUNY Board of Trustees approved salary increases for various officials, including Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, selected vice chancellors, and all CUNY college presidents, except for Baruch and City Colleges, which were at the time in-between presidents. All presidents had at this point base salaries of $200,000 and received increases ranging from two percent to eight percent.
"Dr. Goldstein started in the job in 1999 earning $250,000 a year; his base salary remained flat until 2003, when it jumped 40 percent. Half of the $100,000 raise for that year came from private sources, a growing trend in higher education, but the board of trustees converted that to public money after 2006," reported The New York Times in May of 2010. "His base salary has grown, on average, seven percent a year over the past decade, to $490,000; about half of the most recent $40,000 raise was also courtesy of private funds."
In addition to his salary, Goldstein receives benefits such as the $90,000 housing allowance that push the total amount of his compensation package over $600,000. Similar benefits are awarded to other CUNY officials.
The Ticker obtained salary and benefits information for some of Baruch's highly paid officials from 990 tax forms filed on behalf of the college. According to the forms, during FY 2006 - 2008, most top officials received yearly base salary raises. The 2009 CUNY raises were awarded when, as The New York Times reported, other college presidents were turning down raises in order to show support for campuses that were to suffer due to the poor economy.
As the state and city governments struggle to balance the budgets, Cuomo and his staff have taken a pay cut and state and city governments have faced hiring freezes. Now, as CUNY is facing serious budget cuts, pay cuts could be one way to offset the loss of funding.