The University of Chicago Needs Some Occupy Wall Street

If you’ll recall, the brief but noisy Occupy Wall street movement was all about protesting the “One Percent,” those evil rich folks that apparently return nothing to the nation. Well a look at the compensation of those at the University of Chicago in President Obama’s home city shows that the Occupy folks were protesting the wrong people! It looks like the one percent reside at the UofC.

A very in depth article by David Francis Mihalyfy reveals what he calls a university mired in outsized compensation “hidden by a PR machine, funded by growing tuition and debt, and allocated despite questionable job performance”

Mihalyfy serves up this damning assessment of the university in Obama’s Chicago:

Over the last decade, profit motive has made significant inroads into the American ivory tower. At universities, money is meant to support a larger social mission, not profit presidents and provosts: ideally, these high-visibility support staff should believe enough in education and research to want any extra resources to go there rather than to themselves. At places like UChicago, however, the ideal of administrative public service has been gradually replaced with that of maximizing short-term self-interest, despite debatable benefits to the institutions and the populations that they claim to serve.

As it turns out, the president of Uof makes more money than the president of Harvard! Yeah, that Harvard.

UofC President Robert Zimmer has leapt to number one in his field… for some unexplainable reason. As Mihalyfy discovered, Zimmer recently got a “110%, $1.76 million pay spike that not only brought him from $1.6 to $3.4 million in total compensation, but also the top position in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual rankings of highest-paid private university presidents.”

Zimmer’s newest pay scale puts him at $1.9 million a year, double what he was making only five years ago.

Meanwhile, Harvard’s president made only $899,000 last year.

but it isn’t just Zimmer who is raking in the cash. Just about all the top administration figures have seen their pay double over past rates.

But, hey, maybe this isn’t a big deal? Maybe the UofC is raking in the cash so the wildly increased compensation is justifiable? Seems “no” is the answer to that. In fact, the school is going into debt at a quick clip.

Concurrently, UChicago has become an “outlier” and “put its credit rating at risk” by taking on debt equal to more than half of its endowment, according to Bloomberg News. A leaked financial plan from June 2013 had already indicated that UChicago was on the path to owe three times as much debt as peers like Northwestern. Accordingly, Crain’s Chicago Business predicted in August that due to high debt levels “ratings agencies could downgrade the university’s credit by as many as two notches.” Since then, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have shifted the outlook of its bond rating to negative on three separate occasions in anticipation of a likely credit downgrade. Fundraising operations cannot bring in enough money to keep the credit rating unquestioned, yet compensation of a single person like Zimmer makes up as much as half of projected major annual operating deficits. Nevertheless, UChicago’s financial adviser has vouched that “[t]he money is going to… programmatic strengths.”

Mihalyfy also notes that job performance doesn’t seem to justify the massive hike in pay, either.

So, what is going on, here? Well, for one thing this is a perfect mirror of how liberals are running government into the ground, isn’t it? High pay for no performance, to people with no accountability, all paid by other people’s money.

It is a house of cards that must, eventually collapse.

But it is Obama’s Chicago, isn’t it?

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Posted by on June 17, 2014.
Filed under Barack Obama, Big government, corruption, Culture, Culture Of Corruption, Democrats, Economics, Education, Liberals.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • Brucehenry

    Isn’t the University of Chicago the original home of Trickle Down Economics? Friedman, Greenspan, et al?

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Yeah, fiscal conservatives came from there – then they went progressive. Detroit is such a good model.

    • jim_m

      The economics department is largely viewed as suspect by the rest of the faculty. I know this from my overpaid bother who is a member of said faculty.

    • Jwb10001

      And that has exactly what to do with the fact that the president is raping the university like a drunken CEO robber baron?

  • jim_m

    In defense of U of C, it also runs Argonne National Laboratory(Harvard does not do anything of the sort) and I wonder if that is included in some of the figures. How much of the debt figure is related to Argonne? How much is related to the medical center, which has been dramatically expanded in recent years?

    Also, I do know that while Argonne has a director, Zimmer is ultimately that person’s boss. So his position does have additional responsibilities that are not typical of a University President.

  • GarandFan

    Chicago is a great town to work(?) in. Hell, Michelle got a 300% raise based on her Sugar Daddy getting the local hospital a $1 million grant.

  • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

    We should give copies of this to anyone who complains about the high cost of their student loan.

  • Commander_Chico

    I agree, these big universities are corrupt and self-interested.

    Warner quoting from Jacobin Magazine, that’s a first.

    • warnertoddhuston

      LOL. Hey, I takes it where I finds it…. sometimes. LOL

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