Is job pay a true reflection of societal values?
Here are some figures to consider:
The salary scale for full professors in the University of California system ranges from $100,600 to $183,700. An instructor’s pay starts at under $60,000.
The chancellor of UCLA, Gene Block, received $441,721 in gross pay in calendar year 2015, according to UC salary data. Block holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University and a master’s and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon. He is also the inventor of a number of devices and holds a patent for a non-contact respiratory monitor for the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome.
The UCLA men’s basketball coach, Steve Alford, accumulated gross pay of $2,744,493 in 2015. The compensation report shows $300,000 in regular pay and $2,444,493 in “other pay,” which includes performance-based incentive compensation. The team’s record in the 2015-2016 season was a lackluster 15 winds and 17 losses. This past season, the Bruins were 31-5 and lost to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 round.
I started reflecting on such things after my nephew Jim called my attention to a Cleveland Plain Dealer-cleveland.com series on the cost of college athletics. A recent installment carried the headline “51 Ohio college head coaching jobs that pay $200,000 to $6.6 million.”
It was eye-opening to see that Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s football coach, received $6,641,260 in salary, benefits and bonuses during the 2015-16 school year. The Buckeyes were 11-2 last season and lost to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.
While Alford and Meyer can claim their teams generate a lot of revenue for the universities, a number of high-paid coaches in the Plain Dealer series probably can’t make that case. Therese Hession, women’s golf coach at Ohio State, picked up $230,183 in overall pay last year. Herb Page, men’s golf coach at Kent State, got $562,916. The men’s basketball coach at Akron University, Keith Dambrot, was paid $932,071. The team went 26-9, playing such powerhouses as UC Santa Barbara, Toledo and Lipscomb.
By contrast, pay for coaches at UC Davis, a university better known for its academics than its athletics, seems modest by Ohio standards. The men’s basketball coach, Jim Les, had gross pay of $303,263 in 2015. The team’s record in 2015-2016 was 11 wins and 19 losses. The Aggies were 23-13 this season and won their initial game in the NCAA Tournament before getting blasted by powerhouse Kansas.
The women’s basketball coach, Jennifer Gross, had overall pay of $130,025 in 2015. The team’s record was 19-13 in the 2015-2016 season and 25-8 this year.
Barbara Jahn, head of the women’s swimming program, had gross pay of $139,589 in 2015. She also teaches aquatics courses in the exercise biology program. Erin Thorpe, women’s softball coach, received overall pay of $105,283.
Meanwhile, big-time college stars who help generate millions of dollars for their schools make do with their scholarships and cheers of the crowd.