A new report takes a fresh look at how much university presidents are being paid.
The report from the Chronicle Of High Education shows pay for university presidents is up more than 4 percent nationally from last year. The highest paid university president, at the University of Houston in Texas, will make more than $1 million this year.
There are no million-dollar salaries in Illinois, but college presidents in the state will earn six- figure paychecks this year. All but one of Illinois' public university presidents will make more than the governor's $177,000 salary this year.
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Three of them -- at the University of Illinois and Southern and Northern Illinois universities -- will earn more than the president of the United States' $400,000 annual paycheck.
Chicago State University President Tom Calhoun has the lowest salary at $137,500 a year.
University of Illinois President Tim Killeen will make the most at $600,000.
Ohio University economist Richard Vedder said that $600,000 salary is on the low side nationally. "University pay of presidents rose, on average, about 4.3-percent nationally. It varies, of course, from state to state and institution to institution.," he said. "That 4.3-percent strikes me as generous. Perhaps excessively generous."
Vedder said universities feel they have to "keep up with the Joneses," and that fuels the skyrocketing salaries.
University defenders are quick to say football or basketball coaches are paid even more. U of I football coach Lovie Smith will make $2 million this year.
Vedder said there are clear wins and losses for coaches, not so much for university presidents.
The latest numbers from the Illinois State Board of Higher Education show:
David Glassman at Eastern Illinois University will make $278,643 in base salary, and $31,024 other benefits this year.
Elaine Maimon at Governor's State University will make $305,000 in base salary and nearly $80,000 in other benefits, compensation, and retirement enhancements.
Larry Dietz at Illinois State University will make $350,004 this year in base salary and $19,921 in other compensation.
Sharon Hahs at Northeastern Illinois University will make $291,114 in base salary and $35,088 in extra benefits this year.
Douglas Baker at Northern Illinois University will make $450,000 in base salary this year and another $25,000 in other benefits and retirement enhancements.
Randy Dunn at Southern Illinois University will make $ 30,000 in base salary this year.
Tim Killeen at the University of Illinois will make $600,000 this year in base salary.
Jack Thomas at Western Illinois University will make $254,923 in base salary, and another $30,000 in other benefits and annuities.