How much money would an average person with one kid need to just eke by — you know, with enough money for food and rent and health insurance, but no frills — in Baltimore? Take a wild guess: $25,000? $35,000?
Our neighbors to the south have recently been arguing about whether DC is a good place for artists (Slate: “DC: The Anti-Berlin”; Washington’s City Paper: “Why Slate is Wrong About DC”). According to Slate’s Matthew Yglesias, “If you’re a semi-employed artist or guitar player it’s much more expensive than Philadelphia or Baltimore and still smaller and less interesting than New York City.” Which made us wonder: is Baltimore a better place for artists to live?
Well, first of all, we’re cooler. (Duh.) But if you want to get scientific about it, there are plenty of official metrics that’ll support our superiority. For example, Baltimore’s artists have a higher average income than their DC counterparts ($46,012 versus $41,118); the same is true for our musicians ($40,636 versus DC’s $34,109). However, Baltimore’s writers and editors earn less than their counterparts in the District (sigh).
Of course, $40k in Baltimore will go farther than the same amount in DC. City data guru Richard Florida crunched some numbers to find out how much money arts/entertainment/design workers have left over each month after paying for housing, and — no surprise — Baltimore beats out DC and Philadelphia.
Even as the economy continues to falter and populist protests against “the 1 percent” sprout up across the country, many presidents of private colleges are making more money than ever — including those at several Baltimore-area schools.
Base salary for private college presidents rose 2.8 percent to $294,489 in 2009 (the most recent data available). If you factor in benefits, the median salary tops off at $385,909. And that’s just the median; many make much more than that, including 36 who earn upwards of a million dollars per year. Since 2000, presidential pay at the fifty wealthiest universities increased by 75 percent.
Johns Hopkins’s previous president, William R. Brody, has topped the list of highly-paid presidential earners before (although he came in second in 2009, mostly because the #1 president died and his life insurance policies got factored into the overall total); he made $3,821,886 that year. Hopkins’s current president made just under a million for his first year at the school.
Another Baltimore college president making more than a million was Kevin Manning of Stevenson University, who took home $1,491,655. That’s more than 16 times as much as the average full professor at Stevenson makes. (The average president made 3.7 as much as a full professor.) Meanwhile, the president of the University of Maryland joined other public university presidents at a recent meeting with President Obama to discuss ways to combat the rising cost of education.
The obvious question is: is it really worth it to pay these guys (and except for Joan Coley at McDaniel, they’re all guys around here) so much? According to the president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, college presidents are earning more money as their jobs get trickier; there’s “budgetary challenges, uncertainty about the sustainability of the traditional financial model, calls for further regulation, greater competition, growing student financial need, and consumer concerns about rising tuition” to deal with. Still, a 75 percent salary increase over 10 years — amid a recession no less — sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us. Your take?
Who said working for the state doesn’t pay?
While choosing the right college major may net you more (or less) money, maybe your best bet is to work for the college itself. Yes, the university system is where the money’s at — at least in Maryland, where the top ten highest-paid state employees all work for the University System of Maryland, primarily in the School of Medicine.
2010’s top earner was Stephen Bartlett, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. His base salary last year was $864,786. That number doesn’t include bonuses, speaking fees, or payments for appearing on television; once you include those numbers, Gary Williams, head coach at the University of Maryland, surges to the top — his base salary was $450,869, but those extra earnings add up: his total compensation for 2010 was $2.3 million. (Williams retired after the 2010 season, so maybe he was just trying to earn a little extra for retirement?)
Governor O’Malley? His (relatively) paltry $150,000 per year put him nowhere near the top of the list. Maybe he should consider a second career in academia.
What else do the top earners have in common? Well, they’re all men; only two women make it into the top fifty. The highest-paid woman entering the list comes in at #22 — Claudia Baquet, an associate dean and an advocate for underserved communities. We hope she doesn’t feel too lonely up there at the top.