The Rich Liberals of Academe

The Rich Liberals of Academe

Few places in America have a more monopolistic stranglehold on thought, are more hostile to divergent voices, and are home to larger populations of complete hypocrites than college towns. From coast-to-coast, cities like Berkeley, Ann Arbor, Boulder, Madison, Gainesville, Austin are renowned for being hotbeds of liberalism. Interestingly, while these pockets of supposed intellectual enlightenment pride themselves on being open, inclusive and tolerant in reality they are anything but. The fact is that higher academia in America is tolerant of all thought and voices, so long as they’re voices of agreement.

Don’t believe it? Ask the likes of one of America’s most accomplished African-American females ever, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was forced to rescind her commitment to deliver the commencement address at Rutgers University in 2014 in the face of mounting letters and protests from the institution’s enlightened faculty. Or ask Ann Coulter, who had a speech at a Canadian university cancelled due to death threats and whose speech at Fordham University was cancelled; the student Republican club that invited her thoroughly blasted by the university president for having the audacity to invite a non-liberal thinker onto his turf. Or ask Michelle Malkin, whose appearance at American University was unceremoniously boinked, the fundamental reason given: We don’t agree with the way she thinks.

These women have said and/or written things the collective academic society deems too repulsive, controversial or “hateful” for student ears. Yet one of the world’s most vile and hateful human beings — a man who when asked about homosexuals in his country claimed there are none, denies the Holocaust happened, and has openly called for the destruction of an entire nation of people — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is welcomed by a prominent academic community with open arms. His invitation to speak at Columbia University was treated as the most enlightened move in contemporary educational history.

Beyond just being intellectual hypocrites wholly intolerant of thoughts or voices other than their own, there’s something else college campus elites are: rich. Average total compensation for professors at elite schools is around a quarter million dollars a year, but that is just the starting point. Books (it helps to assign your own textbook to students), outside lectures, and consulting fees not uncommonly double professorial salaries. Consider MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, whose consulting fees on Obamacare totaled into millions of dollars.

A drive through faculty parking lots at any major university in America is like taking a tour of luxury automotive dealerships. Lincolns, Jaguars, BMWs Mercedes Benzes and Range Rovers dot such parking lots. There are few 1997 Fords to be found. Yet these hypocritical liberal elitists pen articles and books about income inequality and the “unfairness” of the American capitalist system. Articles which they then circulate amongst themselves, read, and write congratulatory reviews which amount to little more than back-slaps to one other as they laud their own ever-increasing levels of enlightenment.

Next month the nation’s most noteworthy liberal academic, President Barack Obama, will deliver his annual State of the Union address. In this 2015 version of the SotU he will no doubt again talk about the “ever increasing costs of a college education,” call for colleges and universities to take steps to make education more affordable, and announce new White House plans and initiatives to make sure all children have a fair shot at getting a quality education, as he does in virtually all of his SotU’s.

And across the nation, members of the collegiate faculty community will once again applaud and offer praise for these “bold statements and ideas.” However even people with next to no education are capable of naming the biggest expense of just about all enterprises: labor costs. Could it be there’s a connection between the ever-escalating incomes those in academia pay themselves and the ever-escalating costs American households are paying to attend the same institutions? And if such a connection exists would that make these professors, presidents, chancellors, provosts and the rest of the crowd hyper-hypocrites on a monumental level?

If anyplace in America is über-liberal land it’s California. Within über-liberal land exists a sub-culture of über-über liberalism called the University of California system. When former head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was named president of the UC system in 2013, terms of her compensation package were made public. In addition to an annual salary of $570,000 the University of California leased a house for her to live in at monthly cost of $9,950, she is also allowed $8,916 annually for “car expenses” plus was paid a one-time relocation bonus of $142,500. (Apparently Ms. Napolitano could not afford to move herself on a measly $570,000.)

Lest we think Napolitano an exception, compensation levels for all members of the UC system are matters of public record. Faculty compensation is published in “Ladder Ranks.” The adjusted scale academic salary for full time full professors in veterinary medicine in the UC system as of July 1, 2014 ranges from a low of $119,400 annually to a high of $199,800. But that’s just the start. There are those professors with approval for pay “above threshold.” In a March 2014 letter to his colleagues UC Provost, Scott Waugh expressed his glee over the possibility of “above threshold” pay approval:

“2014-15 Salary Program Memo
Salary Increase for Faculty and Other Academic Personnel
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to inform you that President Janet Napolitano has approved a 3 percent salary increase for faculty and other academic personnel, effective July 1, 2014. …A system-wide salary increase for policy-covered staff was announced in February…


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost”

What are these increases that Mr. Waugh was so pleased to inform UC professors about? Well, professors were no doubt as pleased to learn as Mr. Waugh was to inform:

“The new thresholds for approval of above-threshold salaries for faculty ladder ranks have been adjusted in light of the new Indexed Compensation Level (ICL) of $301,000 for 2014-15. …The new 2014-15 thresholds listed below are based on the July 1, 2014 faculty ladder ranks adjusted salary scales.”

These adjusted faculty salary scales then go on to list new salary thresholds ranging from the new ICL low of $301,000 to the new high of $422,700 annually.

The University of California system is far from unique. In July of last year the Huffington Post analyzed data made available by The Chronicle of Higher Education which showed that “Nearly 100 public college presidents and chancellors made more money in 2013 than President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The heads of 93 colleges made more than the Obamas’ reported total income of $503,183 for the year. Nine public university presidents, out of that group of 93, made more than $1 million in 2013.” And as the university president’s pay goes, so goes that of the faculty.

Yet these exact same life-long members of the academic, elitist, non-tolerant, left-wing crowd crow loud long and hard about “income inequality” in America, blather on about how the pathway up and out of poverty and squalor is a quality education. And although the academic elite was enthusiastic about Obamacare, when it came time for Harvard’s faculty to pay the cost increases it caused, they overhwelmingly voted against it. They’ll stand and applaud when the Barack Obama’s of the world opine about the need to lower college costs and place an education within economic reach of everybody so that everyone has a “fair shot.” Then, when they’ve finished applauding and expressing support for finding ways to lower the costs of attending college, get in their Mercedes Benz and zoom off in time to make a late dinner at Spago.

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1 Comment

  1. As Stalin said, “America is a healthy body and it’s Morality is Its Immune system”. As a Christian nation we have always had forces without and within attempt to strip mainstream Americans of their morality. SCOTUS 1895 “We are a Christian nation” was the verdict during that particular attack. But in 1947 it all changed. For the first time in its history the SCOTUS interpreted the 1st Amendment skewed against Christianity. I won’t tell you why in one paragraph on a blog. But I URGE you to find out. What that journey will reveal is about the limit to which most can handle so they choose not to believe. I challenge you to decide for yourself. Thanks and please keep up the good works.

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