It's Good to Be the GW President

So that's where the tuition goes

By Chris Needham
|  Monday, Nov 2, 2009  |  Updated 4:14 PM EDT
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It's Good to Be the GW President

ArtBrom, Flickr.com

The George Washington University

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Some people want their kids to make a bunch of money, so they push them to be doctors, lawyers or left-handed relief pitchers. But that's not where the real money is, apparently.

If you want your kids to have real big-time, caviar-bathtub bucks, train 'em to be president of The George Washington University.

GW's former president, Stephen Trachtenberg, took home $3.7 million in pay and benefits in 2007-2008, according to the Washington Post. That's like enough money to pay for two or three kids' tuition there!

If $3.7 million sounds like a lot for a college administrator, that's because it is. It's $2 million more than any other administrator in the country. That's also well above the median $358,746 salary reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

We didn't go to GW, but $3.7M seems like it's a lot more than $359K.

In fairness, Mr. Trachtenberg claims it's a reasonable salary. He told the paper:

"My compensation reflected the thinking of many GW trustees over a period of two decades. They took great care to use outside professionals, CPAs, lawyers and such, every time they renewed my contract. And decided on my pay. Year by year. 19 times. They wanted to do the right thing for me and the University."

Phew. We were worried that his salary was set by friends and business cronies. But as long as they had CPAs look at it, it's fine. Right?

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