in Houston, Texas
Texas public college chiefs among most highly paid in nation
Friday, Jun 01, 2012, 09:09AM CST
By Steve Miller
graduation cap

The chief administrators at the University of Texas, Texas A & M and Texas Tech were among the highest paid public college presidents in the U.S. for fiscal year 2011, a new study from the Chronicle for Higher Education reports.

And all three university systems have both talked of/executed layoffs and enacted tuition increases in the past year, often complaining about a decrease in federal and state funding while doing so.

The UT Board of Regents in May increased tuition at the Austin campus by 2.1 percent for out-of-state undergrad students and 3.6 percent for grad students.

U-T Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa was paid $751,680 last year.

The UT–Pan American campus at Edinburg in South Texas laid off 26 staffers last year, citing budget cuts of $17 million.

At Texas Tech University, where Chancellor Kent Hance is paid $757,740, 800 layoffs were proposed and may still be coming.

“All the black ink is gone,” Hance said. “It’s all red, which is the color of blood.”  

In March, the university approved a tuition increase of 1.95 percent, generating $3.4 million in revenue.

Texas A&M Chancellor Michael McKinney retired last July with some financial security. But not before pulling in $1.966 million in 2011, making him the highest paid university head in the state and the second highest in the nation. Here’s his parting statement.

It was only February when new chief John Sharp  - who makes a paltry $507,300 - not-so-eloquently tried to quiet layoff rumors in the lower ranks: "When you are losing a million bucks a year, I would say that the chances are greater that employees will be laid off," Sharp said of the dining services operation.

And then there’s the tuition hikes approved in May for several A&M campuses. What’s a thinking high school grad to think of all this?

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or

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Photo of graduation cap by flickr user K. Sawyer Photography, used via a Creative Commons license.

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