Million-dollar college administrators gone wild

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The arrests last month of SUNY Poly CEO Alain Kaloyeros, 60, on corruption charges, and Syracuse University business dean Kenneth Kavajecz, 51, for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, were sensational enough, but add to that some of the details of the stories: Kaloyeros was legally paid nearly $1 million a year for pretty much separating the Polytechnic College from SUNY Albany and rebranding the Utica SUNY campus as “SUNY Poly,” and Kavajecz is paid about $500,000 a year to run the 23rd best undergraduate business program in the country.

So, in other words, give or take, there are probably 22 undergraduate business deans who earn as much or more than this guy in the U.S. As well, it also means that most such admins at Syracuse at his rank or higher are also grossly overpaid.

As for Kaloyeros, he was well-known as a womanizing, politically incorrect jerk. He has as many selfies on the Internet as Anthony Weiner, but, for some reason, SUNY was willing to look the other way on this guy. Or maybe they had no choice but to humor him, considering he has pals in Albany.

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And you wonder why college tuition at four-year colleges is so expensive? Tuition, room and board is over $61,000 per year at Syracuse. At SUNY, tuition is much less, but it is funded by the taxpayers – in other words, the Albany political machine controls the purse.

Once Kaloyeros took over unsung SUNY IT and rebranded it SUNY Poly, press releases from the institution became odd, awkwardly name-dropping the governor over and over. They would often lead off: “Supporting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s innovative educational blueprint and career pipeline for New York State’s college students, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), in collaboration with …”

In every release, Kaloyeros would be quoted lauding Cuomo. Here is a recent example from a SUNY Poly press release: ‘“Today’s announcement is a significant next step … and has been made possible by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his leadership in building upon Albany’s nanotechnology-based public-private partnership model, which is luring new innovation-based industries to our state and driving unparalleled economic development opportunities,’ said SUNY Poly President and CEO Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros.”

If Kaloyeros is corrupt, does that mean the governor is, too? Why did he feel the need to laud the governor in every single communique? This guy was earning a mil a year – on the books. How much did he make on the side?

Meanwhile, at community colleges, the presidents often make less than $200,000 a year.

College credits are supposed to be equal, but the difference between the two- and four-year schools is “separate and unequal.”

Four-year colleges are rife with administrators and some “all-star” faculty who earn immense salaries. The colleges grow more and more bloated, because when prima donnas are hired, they also have to have assistants, secretaries, office space, company cars, etc., etc.

And it would be hard to argue that colleges are actually better than they were before all of this corruption.

If these administrators and faculty are so talented, why can’t they earn such pay as a side gig? Why get rich on the students’ dime?

Higher education is the next bubble to burst in America. We already saw bubbles burst with the Internet and the stock market and real estate. We are now starting to see mediocre colleges calling it quits — most recently Dowling College and ITT Tech. More and better colleges will falter.

Many people are starting to question the value of expensive colleges vs. lesser-priced private colleges and state schools — vs. not going to college at all.

At the very least, administrators who earn the big salaries should realize they have a good thing going and not screw up. Ever hear of flying under the radar?

Colleges are one of the last institutions in the country to be run like an aristocracy: The president as king; those with certain pedigrees, who schmooze at ritzy wine and cheese parties, are allowed into an inner circle at the top. It’s a fancy club that rank-and-file faculty will never be able to enter.

Here’s a newsflash — most of these people earning the big salaries are famous only in their own minds and in certain immediate circles. Spending student tuition dollars to maintain their ego-driven aristocracy is just wrong.

While people like Kaloyeros and Kavajecz make a mil and a half mil annually, the average full-time professor earns $85,000 a year. The average “full-time” adjunct, $22,500. So, these admins earn up to 50 times as much as the lowest faculty.

How about ending the charade of overpaid deans, VPs, presidents and all-star faculty, and bumping up the lowest paid faculty? Isn’t college supposed to be a meritocracy, where, through equal work one gets equal pay?

Or is it just by paying someone an exorbitant amount it suddenly makes them seem special?

We don’t understand it.