Posted at: 09/27/2012 5:57 PM
| Updated at: 09/28/2012 10:16 AM
By: Beth Wurtmann
ALBANY - When Dr. Robert Jones was introduced as the next president of the University at Albany last Friday, he made a joke about his decision to stay in higher education over the years.
"...and then I was going to go and take that job in the corporate sector, that I turned down to make some real money," he said.
Turns out, he's going to be earning a lot of public money when he takes the university reins in January.
A base salary of $385,000 and $110,000 in research foundation funding. Plus a $60,000 housing allowance and the use of a campus car.
A U-Albany spokesperson said Dr. Jones doesn't plan to live in the residence so he'll get that housing allowance. Now, a student group on campus is questioning whether his entire compensation package is just too much.
"I feel like he's getting too much money and that a lot of the administrators in SUNY are making too much," said Liz Moran, a member of the group, Save Our SUNY, which advocates for affordable higher education.
Moran said Jones' compensation package isn't fair to students who have weathered a cuts to academic programs and an tuition hike of $300 starting in 2011.
Jones is also making nearly twice as much as current UAlbany President George Philip, who earns $280,000-a-year.
The new President's total $495,000 compensation deal also puts him in the same league with other SUNY Presidents at the large research universities. Both Buffalo and Stony Brook's chiefs make $650,000 annually. Binghamton's president? $510,000. All get housing and a car.
Why so much for Jones? A spokesman for SUNY told us his compensation package "reflects SUNY's ability to remain competitive in a national search market."
Jones is currently a Vice President at the University of Minnesota. His current salary is $310,105, according to public relations staff there.