Presidential pay cuts

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks should cut his own salary by at least 10 percent to set a sacrificial example to the rest of the University community. Because the University is unlikely to get much of their requested funding from a state thatâÄôs facing a deficit, our leaderâÄôs foregoing a small portion of his $733,421 worth of salary and benefits would set a symbolic message to faculty and staff who may be unwilling to cut spending. Moreover, we believe the cut would not only send a message, but would also reflect positively on the presidentâÄôs character and earnest willingness to serve this great University. University leaders around the country have already begun to set the standard at their institutions. The president at Washington State University, Elson Floyd, voluntarily cut his salary by $100,000 due to budget problems. The list goes on, but one thing is clear: University and college leaders understand the significance of their sacrifices and our president should follow in their stead. Currently, Bruininks is the No. 7 best-compensated president among public university presidents, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. He receives $423,000 for salary, which is publicly funded, and additional benefits for a retirement plan, as well as a house provided by the state, according to numbers reported for 2007-08. Though cutting 10 percent of his salary and benefits would only save roughly $73,000 this money could be used to keep a faculty member staffed or save the University money during a difficult and burdening financial environment. We do commend President Bruininks for taking initiative by freezing salary pay for senior executives at the University, but more sacrificial decisions need to be made.