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ERIC Number: EJ970375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May-31
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1931-1362
Lucrative Payments to Bob Kerrey by the New School Irk Critics in a Time of Austerity
Stripling, Jack
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2012
Bob Kerrey's rocky tenure as president of the New School may seem a fading memory, but the recent disclosure that he earned $3-million from the institution last year could rekindle resentments on campus and raise questions about Mr. Kerrey's continuing and lucrative role at the college. Under fire from New School faculty over turnover in the provost's office and his management style, Mr. Kerrey announced in May 2009, after eight years as president of the New York City college, that he would step down once his successor was named. After that announcement, the New School's Board of Trustees awarded the former governor and two-term U.S. senator from Nebraska a $1.2-million "retention" bonus. The bonus, and a payout of more than $620,000 in deferred compensation, brought his total earnings from the New School in 2010-2011 to $3,047,703, tax forms show. Mr. Kerrey will also be paid to serve through 2016 as president emeritus, which New School officials describe as a fund-raising position. Mr. Kerrey, who is again campaigning for U.S. Senate in Nebraska, will earn between $400,000 and $600,000 a year in his emeritus capacity. The board decided to award Mr. Kerrey a retention bonus to ensure a smooth transition to his successor's presidency. The college was also counting on Mr. Kerrey to raise money for the largest capital project in its history: a university center with a price tag of more than $350-million. The payout is particularly troubling at a time when lower-than-expected enrollment numbers have precipitated fiscal challenges. The institution, which has about 10,300 students, did not meet projected enrollment growth for last fall, and revenues were $9-million less than anticipated. In response to financial challenges, faculty hiring will be limited at the New School. In the context of these challenges, some faculty are questioning how the New School can justify paying Mr. Kerrey as an emeritus president when he is in the throes of a political campaign some 1,300 miles away from campus. Mr. Kerrey's record as New School's president elicits both praise and criticism from faculty. The college's enrollment grew by 44 percent during his tenure, and the number of full-time faculty also more than doubled over the course of his presidency. Yet Mr. Kerrey was criticized for a style described as less-than-conciliatory, and critics viewed the instability of his cabinet as a symptom of larger management failures. In his first seven years as president, Mr. Kerrey cycled through four provosts. He was criticized for his lack of a Ph.D., and his support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq ran afoul of the liberal sentiments of many students and faculty at the New School. In his defense, Mr. Kerrey suggested his efforts to transform what was largely a patchwork group of disciplines into a cohesive university had simply ruffled the feathers of those resistant to change.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; United States