How Much is Too Much

As I checked my Facebook feed I found a story being posted quite a bit with some interesting comments. The story is the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees awarded their Chancellor a $40,000 bonus. This is pretty inflammatory news to many of my friends who are still going to college in a MNSCU school.

The Chancellor makes $360,000 a year which people are screaming is too much. So that raises the question how much is too much? For most people it’s roughly $1.00 more than they themselves make. I personally hate the phrase, “He/She gets paid too much.” Why do I hate it? Because what right does somebody have to say another is making too much unless they are that person’s boss? Yes if I’m your boss and don’t believe your doing a good enough job to earn your salary then I have some reason to claim you’re making too much money and thus can fire you or lower your pay. But I’ve not heard a single person come up with an exact formula that determines if somebody makes “too much.” Last I heard businesses have a right to determine how much they pay their employees. Now complexity can be entered into this since MNSCU receives public funding but I’m unsure if the Chancellor’s pay comes for tax payer money received by the state or a different source. Either way even lowering his wages to $50,000 wouldn’t cut the tuition of each student by any noticeable amount.

The other thing that nobody seems to bring up is the fact $40,000 isn’t a whole lot of money for MNSCU. According to their website they have 32 public colleges and universities. $40,000 divided by 32 mean if that money were evenly distributed throughout MNSCU each college would get a whopping $1,250 each. In layman’s terms that means each school would get just about absolutely nothing.

Looked at another way they have 54 campuses so each campus would get about $740.74 which is less than some students pay for books in a semester.

2 thoughts on “How Much is Too Much”

  1. I’m going to have to say that too much is when your company loses financial stability and you make more than enough money to pay the bills. Goes double for government jobs run off taxpayer money.

  2. Your point is well-taken…for executives of _private_ companies. If you’re not an officer, director, or shareholder, you have no right to an opinion about how much the CEO makes.

    But any taxpaying resident of the state of Minnesota can legitimately claim status as this guy’s boss. That’s why they’re called public _servants_.

    Is $360,000 too much? I haven’t a clue. And as I’m a taxpaying resident of a state _other than_ Minnesota, I don’t need to know or care. For running an organization of that size, I’d say that $360,000 is probably not too much, if it’s the right person.

    Of course, if it’s the wrong person, $3.60 is probably too much. Indeed, if he’s the wrong person, even “free” is too much. 🙂

    Moreover, if the current chancellor _is_ the wrong person, then the board should be prepared to pay rather _more_ than $360,000 in order to attract someone who’ll do the job better than this guy. A really _good_ executive, whose skills are well-honed and also well-matched to the needs of the organization, can add enough value (and/or prevent enough expensive waste) to be a bargain even at some pretty mind-numbing salaries.

    Note that I say “if”, and mean it. I have no idea whether this guy is good at his job or not, no access to the facts which would be necessary to make such a judgment, and no particular interest in doing the research.

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