State lawmakers are considering a 12.5-percent hike in college tuition. At the same time, Florida's university presidents are enjoying record-high salaries.
Many students and some lawmakers just don't think that's fair. A bill advancing at the capitol would put a limit on sky-high salaries for university presidents.
College senior Nikkita Keelen is in FAMU’s biology program. She's mad that her university president's salary jumped to $275,000 a year while her department fights for better equipment.
If their salaries are continuing to go up and our quality of education and the equipment that we need is isn't going up, that's not good, that's not fair
At Florida State, new president T.K. Wetherell got a 14-percent raise over his predecessor, while at Florida A & M, the president's salary went up 50-percent to bring in Dr. Fred Gainous.
At $350,000 a year and about $88,000 in perks plus a house, University of Florida President Charles Young tops the list. Sen. Stephen Wise says with students and their families facing double-digit tuition hikes, these skyrocketing salaries are outrageous.
They're getting cars, they're getting annuity packages, insurance, financial advisors, houses, you name it and they're getting it.
Wise has proposed a bill to cap the presidents' salaries at $225,000. But Florida’s presidents make well below many of their counterparts in other states, University of Michigan’s president brings home $475,000. FSU Board of Trustees Chairman John Thrasher says you have to pay for top talent.
Clearly if you look at the job of a president and CEO of a major corporation, hundreds of millions of dollars, I think the salaries are fair
But in this tight budget year, salary caps could well find favor with lawmakers looking to send a message.