What former Gov. Arne Carlson says about UMN executive pay

Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson writes in his blog about exploding University of Minnesota executive salaries -- and how they compare to those of their state and federal counterparts (if you could call them that).

The info isn't all that new, but the comparisons are striking -- and may bear repeating:

For instance, when I came into the Governor’s office in 1991, the President of the University made approximately $152,000 while I made $112,000 – a gap of some $40,000. Today, the Governor makes $120,000 and the University President, $610,000 – a gap of $490,000.

This mirrors the overall explosion of administrative salaries. As an example, the lead attorney for the University makes $295,000 or $95,000 more than the Attorney General of the United States, and over $180,000 more than the Minnesota Attorney General and some $78,000 more than the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The University President’s Chief of Staff earns a salary commensurate with the United States Secretary of State while the University lobbyist who pleads the University’s case at the State Capitol earns some $60,000 more than the Governor.

Joel Maturi, a fundraiser and part-time teacher makes $468,000 while the President of the United States earns $400,000.

This comparison with federal and state government officials with comparable responsibilities could go on ad infinitum.

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He states how serious this is -- and yet how difficult it is to get a handle on the costs:

This excess directly translates into higher administrative costs which are then placed on the various colleges under the umbrella of the University. For instance, the medical school pays over $66 million for overall administration services ranging from utilities to a variety of student services as well as technology, library, etc. There is no one specific item that identifies administrative overhead. Rather these costs are blended in with the overall figures.

He signs off with:

... Sadly, the leadership of Morrill Hall has left us with serious problems that must be dealt with if the University is to succeed. It is clearly a necessary challenge…

You can read his full blog post here.