Graduate Students

Washington State's 2 Well-Paid University Presidents Opt to Cut Their Own Pay

November 21, 2008

Raises may be rare for college presidents this year. With ominous budget signs looming, dozens of chief executives at colleges around the country are forgoing pay increases, often voluntarily.

Elson S. Floyd, Washington State University’s president, today asked the university’s Board of Regents to cut $100,000 from his $725,000 base salary. The board accepted his request and will lock in his new salary of $625,000 on January 1, according to a news release from the university.

“These are exceedingly tough times for my students, faculty, and staff,” Mr. Floyd said in a written statement. “We will be asking them to think more creatively and work harder with less as we deal with budgetary restraints. It is incumbent upon me to lead by example.”

The announcement followed similar news on Thursday from the University of Washington, where Mark A. Emmert has declined a pay raise, the Associated Press reported. Mr. Emmert’s and Mr. Floyd’s relatively high salaries were cited in an article published this week in The Chronicle’s Executive Compensation survey.

The Chronicle also previously reported that a handful of presidents had turned down raises or bonuses, sometimes donating the money to scholarships. Many more have followed suit in recent days, including chiefs at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Pennsylvania. And in Florida, three presidents of public universities have turned down performance bonuses or raises, citing the economy and budget cuts, the Palm Beach Post reported. —Paul Fain