Amy Gutmann’s Massive Raise Brings Salary to $2 Million

Ever wonder why Ivy League tuition keeps going up, up, up? One reason: Rising costs doesn’t seem to be deterring applicants. Amid yearly tuition hikes, Penn’s applicant pool grew by 9,000 from 2009 to 2011 and has held steady ever since. (Penn’s tuition has risen at twice the rate of inflation since 1990.)

Another reason: Schools are hiring more and more administrators, and they’re paying them a lot. Today, the Daily Pennsylvanian reports that Penn President Amy Gutmann got a 43% raise in 2011, bringing her salary to $2.1 million. Since Yale’s Richard Levin stepped down this year, she’ll likely be the second highest-paid Ivy League president, after Columbia’s Lee Bollinger. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last year, ballooning administrative budgets are a key driver of rising tuition costs.

Across U.S. higher education, nonclassroom costs have ballooned, administrative payrolls being a prime example. The number of employees hired by colleges and universities to manage or administer people, programs and regulations increased 50% faster than the number of instructors between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Education says. It’s part of the reason that tuition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has risen even faster than health-care costs.

And its not just increased administrative hiring, as the Washington Monthly found. It’s hefty salaries too.

Administrative salaries are on the rise everywhere in the nation. By 2007, the median salary paid to the president of a doctoral degree-granting institution was $325,000. Eighty-one presidents earned more than $500,000, and twelve earned over $1 million.

Anyways, congrats Amy!