Penn’s Gutmann top-paid at $2.8 million last year

Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, earned $2.82 million in overall compensation in 2012-13, making her the highest-paid employee at the school for the first time.

Second was Robert Muller, CEO of Penn’s health system, who earned $2.37 million. The compensation packages were reported as part of required tax filings and made available for inspection by the university.

Gutmann’s compensation package for 2012-13 represented a 35 percent increase over the previous year.

Last year, Gutmann was the sixth-highest paid private university president in the nation, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, and second-highest paid Ivy League president, behind only Lee C. Bollinger of Columbia University. At the time, Penn board chair David L. Cohen said trustees believe that Gutmann, who took the helm in 2004, is “the best university president in the country” and that “her compensation should reflect that reality.”

The board in 2012 extended Gutmann’s contract through 2019.

Read the story here.


Adjunct professors fight for crumbs on campus

“As colleges and universities rev for the fall semester, the stony exploitation of the adjunct faculty continues, providing cheap labor for America’s campuses, from small community colleges to knowledge factories with 40,000 students. The median salary for adjuncts, according to the American Association of University Professors, is $2,700 per three-credit course. Some schools raise this slightly to $3,000 to $5,000; a tiny few go higher. Others sink to $1,000. Pay scales vary from school to school, course to course.”

. . .

“For strapped adjuncts with no off-campus income, a solution is to replace a minimum wage with a living wage — say, $15,000 a course plus benefits. Where would the money come from? Start with cuts to presidential salaries, which are at all-time highs. Annual pay packages from $500,000 to more than $1 million are common. Meanwhile, the loan debts of students — the pre-unemployed — soar.”


Read more at The Washington Post.

Trustees shoot down tobacco divestment campaign in ten minutes

“The proposal calling for Penn to divest its $7.7 billion endowment from tobacco companies died without a vote at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

The decision follows an overwhelming wave of divestment support within the Penn community. The University Council saw a 51-6 vote in favor of divestment, and 530 senior Penn faculty members signed an open letter supporting the proposal. In February, the Faculty Senate voted unanimously in support of tobacco divestment.”


Read more here.

‘Gathering storm’: The Philly riots of ’64

“What Watson heard that August night – exactly 50 years ago, tomorrow – were the first stirrings of the worst outbreak of civil unrest in modern Philadelphia history, a full-blown riot that lasted for three hellish nights as roving bands of looters methodically went from the butcher to the liquor store to the appliance store and to every merchant in between, smashing in windows and running down Ridge Avenue with TV sets or even sofas on their backs, while others rained down bricks and rooftop debris on the outnumbered cops.

They say that numbers tell the story. But in the case of the 1964 North Philadelphia riot, the cold statistics – 339 people hurt, including 100 police, hundreds arrested, at least one man killed and property damage that would be $23 million in today’s dollars – don’t really show the impact on the psyche of what was then America’s 4th biggest city. By the time the shards of glass were swept and the sirens stopped echoing, many folks – both black and white – would never look at Philadelphia, or each other, quite the same.

It was a political and moral awakening – albeit a grim one – not just for Richard Watson but for much of the city, a giant tipping point. Amid the chaos of three days on Columbia Avenue, you can see the birth of the two social movements that would come to dominate Philadelphia for much of the next half-century.

One was the push for black political empowerment, as African-Americans abandoned timid cooperation with the white political machine and forged their own path, on the streets and later at the ballot box. The other was the quest from the white working class for “law and order,” as a deputy commissioner named Frank Rizzo took control of the riot squad, then the police department, then City Hall.”

Read more about this history here.

Philly leaves school transit up to kids

“At the start of the school year, 7,500 high school students in Philadelphia will have to figure out how to get to school without any financial assistance from the district.

That’s because, in an effort to save less than $4 million (out of an $81 million shortfall), the district increased the distance of subsidized transportation eligibility from 1.5 to 2 miles, or the distance between City Hall and South Philadelphia High School, a total of five subway stops and 45 minutes walking distance.”

Read more here.