[Marxism] Fwd: The $7 Million University President » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 15 09:03:58 MST 2014

In a recent article about Shirley Jackson, the president since 1999 of 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)–a private university located in 
Troy, New York–the Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that, in 2012 
(the latest year for which statistics are available), she received over 
$7 million from that institution.  Like many modern campus 
administrators, President Jackson was also given a large mansion, first 
class air travel, and a chauffeured luxury car to transport her around 
the campus.

Thanks to the fact that Jackson also serves on at least five corporate 
boards, including those of IBM and Marathon Oil, she supplements this 
income with more than a million dollars a year from these sources.

Despite repeated complaints about Jackson from faculty and students, 
RPI’s board of trustees has invariably expressed its total confidence in 
her.  Indeed, the board chair recently declared that she is worth every 
penny of her substantial income.  This unwavering support appears to be 
based not only upon Jackson’s fundraising prowess, but upon the 
corporate approach that she and the board share.

A key component of this corporate approach is embodied in Jackson’s 
development and implementation of the Rensselaer Plan, a venture that 
includes an enormous construction program at a staggering cost.  Worried 
about their institution falling behind rivals in the race to build a 
high-powered, modern campus, trustees found this university expansion 
deeply satisfying.  But it also meant that RPI ran up its debt to $828 
million–over six times its level when Jackson took office.  As a result, 
Moody’s downgraded RPI’s credit rating twice, and describes the 
financial outlook for RPI as “negative.”


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