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In the News

January 8, 2018

As college costs keep rising for students, so does presidential pay. Could that change?

The Washington Post

In an article published on Jan. 5, 2018 in The Washington Post, Washington partner Ray Cotton discusses why university presidents’ pay is rising. “The majority of trustees are now business leaders, and they bring ideas from that culture to academia,” Cotton said. “They are typically looking for someone able to energize donors while managing a complex organization and expect to pay well to lure top candidates. Boards want presidents to raise a lot of money, and they reward success.”

Cotton has negotiated college presidents’ contracts for many years. He said it’s misleading to look at a snapshot of a single year of compensation because it gives the impression that many university leaders make more than a million dollars a year, when that is not the case. Cotton has represented more than 350 university boards of trustees, college presidents, and other nonprofit executives during his more than 25 years in practice.



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