Dr. Sid Williams, is once again, in the news. Having attracted a great deal of attention in recent years for advocating “free spinal exams” and, more recently, for the astounding student loan default rate of Life University students, Dr. Sid is now being targeted for the exorbitant administrative pay schedules of the school. According to an article which appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education last fall, Dr. Sid, himself, receives compensation in excess of $900,000 annually, making him one of the highest paid college presidents in the nation. In a follow-up article which appeared in the Marietta Daily Journal, Staff Writer Chris Loyner observed, “By comparison, Williams’ salary and benefits are greater than the presidents of Yale and Vanderbilt Universities combined, according to the Chronicle, a well-respected trade journal for American colleges and universities.” And the second highest paid president, Judith Rodin of the University of Pennsylvania, received only a paltry $472,000. If that’s not enough, The Chronicle piece also reported that Dr. Sid’s Wife, Dr. Nell. vice-president for student affairs, receives about $470,000, and his sister-in-law, assistant vice-president. Mildred Kimbrough, receives nearly $325,000 annually.
The college’s Vice President, Durie D. Humber, a childhood chum of Williams’, receives about $625,000. Not bad, huh?
Well, a spokesperson for Life University suggests that the salaries reported in the Chronicle were misleading, because not only salaries, but other forms of compensation, such as retirement benefits and deferred investments were included. However, the author of theChronicle article insists that theChronicle has a standard format for reporting salaries and Williams’ salary was calculated no differently than any other president’s.
Anyway, the response to all this from some onlookers is one of concern over the dismissal of approximately 25 faculty members from the school in 1999. “Following the Chronicle article, the Marietta Daily Journal received two anonymous letters questioning the high salaries when ‘all the best teachers are being let go,” reports Chris Loyner.
Life maintains the dismissals are due to recent declines in enrollment, despite the school’s expansions in degree programs and facilities. As to Williams’ salary, spokesmen for the college seem to feel it is defensible, especially in light of the fact that Williams began the school, taking no salary whatsoever for several years as the school was becoming established. [The school] would not exist if it weren’t for him,” Randy Southerland is reported to have said. “So, in that sense, he is different from almost any other university president.” Hmmmm.
This article is reprinted with permission from the January 2000 issue of The American Chiropractor, a bimonthly magazine that looks closely at chiropractic activities and beliefs. The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Web site states: “Pay is defined as all salaries, fees, bonuses, and severance payments that each person received. The benefits category includes perquisites like health and pension plans. Colleges are required to include all forms of deferred compensation that were paid or designated in that year.”
This article was posted on February 16, 2000.