Editorial 02.07.14: Salaries of important Braves don’t add up

It’s important to know where your money is spent.

At least we think it is. As college students, sometimes it’s tough to keep a budget and stay on track fiscally. When college loans, student activity fees and tuition come into play, things begin to pile up.

That’s why we wanted to investigate where some of our money is spent at Bradley and show other students what we found.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, University President Joanne Glasser received a salary of nearly $700,000 in the 2011 calendar year. She’s in the top 100 highest-paid private university presidents in the country and top ten highest-paid private university presidents in Illinois. She is the highest-paid female university president in Illinois itself.

Glasser certainly has experience in higher education. Before she came to Bradley, she was president of Eastern Kentucky University and vice president and chief advancement officer of Towson University in Baltimore. She also has a certificate from Harvard University for Higher Education Management.

But compared to other institutions similar to Bradley, Glasser’s salary tipped the scales. Butler University’s president James Danko made nearly $420,000 in 2011, while North Central College, also in Illinois, paid its president Harold Wilde about $503,000.

It’s not just Glasser’s salary that made us take a second look. Bradley spent a hefty amount on athletics-based employees in 2011, three of which made the Chronicle’s top ten list of highest-paid Bradley employees.

Together, men’s basketball Coach Geno Ford, former men’s basketball Coach Jim Les and Director of Athletics Michael Cross were paid about $1,263,000 in 2011.

The university paid Les close to $400,000 that year, even after he was fired.

The university paid Peter Johnsen, a former provost and vice president of academic affairs who left Bradley in 2008, nearly $183,000 in 2011. Current Vice President of Business Affairs Gary Anna said Johnsen still had “accumulated pay due to him” that would be carried out over a period which ended in 2012.

And while that seems unfair, we realize that the fulfillment of a contract is a legal obligation.

We’re not experts when it comes to salaries for those in higher education, whether you’re the president of a university, a coach of the university’s most popular team or part of the president’s cabinet.

And if, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bob Turner said, the salaries are not indicative of their true values, our opinions may be skewed.

It could be that all of the salaries for each Bradley employee reported in the Chronicle warrant some leeway.

But we do think that if Bradley’s leaders are being paid this much money, some of which is from our tuition, it should be put to good use. We think people who work here, like professors who educate students every day, and administrative assistants who manage day-to-day activities that keep Bradley afloat, deserve a piece of the pie, not those who aren’t employed by Bradley anymore.

So why do we keep firing high-paid employees with years left on their contracts when we know we’re going to have to commit money to their contract fulfillment?

We can’t change what’s happening, and we can’t say for certain that what’s happening is wrong. But we at The Scout are here to report on what we see to the student body, especially when it has to do with our tuition.

And we don’t want to be put on trial for reporting the facts.

But the Chronicle’s data is from two years ago, so maybe the eye-popping numbers we saw have changed. For now, though, as we continue to open our purse strings to the university, we’re still going to monitor where every penny is spent, and if it’s being spent well.