Editorial: Perry the affordable

Our View


Eastern President Bill Perry’s salary is $267,800, including $32,289 for housing.


He declined a higher salary and we appreciate his humbleness in this bad economy.

Eastern President Bill Perry earns a $267,800 per year, which includes $32,289 for housing. That salary is up from last year’s $260,000.

While we have concerns about how university and college presidents are getting paid like corporate CEOs, we’re proud to see how much of a bargain Perry is and how humble he is in this time of economic crisis.

“The salary President Perry came in at was somewhat below average of the salaries of the presidents at the time,” said Robert Webb, member of the Board of Trustees and chair of the presidential search committee.

At the time of Perry’s hiring, his salary was approximately $230,000 excluding housing.

Southern Illinois – Edwardsville had the lowest salary for its president at $211,000, Webb said. Northern Illinois had the highest at $295,000.

What’s remarkable is how Webb said Perry would not accept any other increase in salary even though the board has offered a higher salary.

“It’s his belief that the president, in a time of limited resources, ought not be treated any differently . than the academic staff,” Webb said. “All university presidents don’t follow that practice.”

Knowing that everyone, going all the way to the top, is making sacrifices creates a universal struggle that unites this campus. Perry announced a few weeks ago that vacant positions will not be filled and certain maintenance projects will be indefinitely postponed to compensate for cutbacks in state appropriations. Those sacrifices prolong struggles that faculty, staff and students have during daily operations in which additional personnel or equipment is needed.

Universities often put the inflation pressures on the students by raising tuition and fees while not missing a pay raise, but Eastern keeps on finding marvelous ways to cut back on spending.

Former President Lou Hencken was the lowest paid top dog in Illinois as he too declined pay raises and had a $199,670 salary during his last year as president. In fact, that salary was $28,937 less than Perry’s $228,600 salary as the provost at Texas A&M University.

So, Perry took a $31,400 pay raise with his promotion to Eastern, but with his salary ranking in the bottom third of Illinois presidents and him declining a higher salary, we certainly do have another selfless president.