UI president deserves higher salary

By Daily Illini Editorial Board

It’s about time the president gets a raise.

We sure don’t pay current University president Robert Easter like he heads the University with first place national ranking in civil engineering, undergraduate engineering science and physics. We don’t pay him like he administers the number 11 public school in the nation either.

Bob Easter currently has a base salary of $462,375, but with a bonus, a total of $552,375 a year.

That puts him as the fifth worst-paid president in the Big Ten.

The highest paid president in the Big Ten, Eric J. Barron of Penn State, makes a total salary of $1,200,000.

Easter’s replacement likely won’t get that much, but he will see a well-deserved raise from the salary of his predecessor. The presidential search committee continues to search for Easter’s replacement and will likely reach a final decision by its Nov. 14 Board of Trustees meeting.

A president’s job is not easy, and we believe a good job is worth the money, especially since we don’t skimp on our athletic department salaries. Our head football and basketball coaches make roughly three times the amount of our president.

Now don’t get us wrong, we love our Illini athletics. We’d be nothing without our Saturday tailgates and that sea of orange and blue on game days. However, we don’t believe the president who heads those athletics should bring in about a million dollars less than Tim Beckman and John Groce.

A president’s job is the face and foundation of our universities principles.

With over 40,000 students, 17 colleges and thousands of faculty members to budget for, we don’t want just anybody taking the reins.

We hope that the search committee will take into account our past mistakes in choosing the person who will guide our University. Easter has served as president since 2012, joining the University after a bad streak of ousted presidents.

His predecessors, Joseph White and Michael Hogan, were both removed within two years of employment due to ethical scandals on campus.

As the presidential search committee continues to find our match and adjust the position’s salary, we hope they keep our University principles in mind.

What we want is a president with integrity — someone who cares about the students who are talented enough to step onto our campus and excel in their fields. We want a president who integrates, diversifies, recruits, and continues to build upon the Illinois tradition.

We want a president who is up to the task, and the University should be willing to pay for it.