The University System of Georgia has approved pay large increases for the presidents of the state’s top public institutions. The trustees’ approval of deferred compensation will double the salary of the University of Georgia’s president.
The Board of Regents approved $600,000 in deferred compensation for UGA president Michael Adams. His total pay will top $1.2 million for the fiscal year starting July 1.
Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson will receive $160,000 in deferred pay for the next six years. That money comes from a private foundation that supports the university.
But some experts question if that’s the best use of the foundation’s money.
Daniel Borochoff is with Charity Watch, a watchdog group.
“That foundation that’s funding this extra salary, well, they could just as easily be funding extra books and facilities and more professors and lower tuition," he said in a phone interview. "So you have to look at it altogether.”
Pablo Eisenberg is a nonprofit pay expert at Georgetown University. He says the pay gap is widening among university workers.
“The bottom of the heap – which are part-time teachers and the campus blue-collar staff – are not even getting a living wage," he said. "To me, that seems outrageous.”
University System spokesman John Millsaps said no one from the Board of Regents was available for an interview on the salaries. But in an email, he said Adams’ pay serves as a thank-you because he’s retiring. He also said it will help lure top talent to replace him.
He said Peterson’s extra pay is an incentive to stay.
The Board of Regents also approved raises for a handful of other college presidents across the state.
The board signed off on a $25,000 raise for the presidents at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Atlanta Metropolitan College. David Bridges and Gary McGaha will now make $198,000 per year.
Jim Sanders, director of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanograhpy, received the same raise and will now make $198,000.