PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Does Graham Spanier Make Too Much $$$?

A question that always leads to some interesting debates.

Do executive officers of organizations deserve the amount of money that they receive every year?

On Wednesday, the Collegian reported that Penn State President Graham Spanier was ranked 6th nationally among public university presidents in terms of annual base salary for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. In total pay compensation Spanier ranks 18th among the same group.

My question to the Onward State community is whether his $590,000 salary is too much?

According to the University’s annual Right to Know report for 2007-2008, Spanier’s total compensation doesn’t even crack the top 5 at Penn State.

Those honors go to, in decreasing order, Joe Paterno (Head Football Coach – $1,037,322), Robert Harbaugh (Chair of the Neurosurgery Dept at the Hershey Medical Center – $789,492), Alan Brechbill (Executive Director of the Hershey Medical Center – $666,448), Ed DeChellis (Head Basketball Coach – $642,366), and Peter Dillon (Chair of the Department of Surgery at the Hershey Medical Center).

It is important to note that the Right to Know report lists both Spanier’s total compensation and salary as the same, while many other employees at the top of the pay scale have compensation in the form of bonuses and expenses in addition to the outright salary. This same statistic holds true when comparing Spanier’s salary to that of other university presidents, University spokesperson Annemarie Mountz attributes that to the fact that Spanier “does not receive many of the benefits included in extra incentive packages offered at other universities,” such as housing allowances or car allowances. Spanier lives in a University-owned house (built using private funds) and drives a car owned by the University.

Spanier isn’t being paid too much– he runs one of the largest universities in the country, which also happens to consistently rank among the best in academics, athletics, and sheer popularity. He was awarded the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence by TIAA-CREF for his commitment and contributions to higher education and society in February. He recently declined a raise opportunity citing that he didn’t believe it was fair to accept a raise when there was a salary freeze on faculty positions. He’s been a positive force for this university for 15 years and has guided us through some difficult financial times while still managing to expand the school’s reach into new areas of research and learning opportunities.

What do you think? Go ahead, tell me why I’m wrong.

About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.


More by Chase

Three Words: For the Glory

When I sat back one night in January thinking about my time at Penn State, I tried to come up with a single word that would adequately describe my experiences here. As I attempted to determine what that magic word might be, my mind began to grasp the absurdity of that challenge. How could I possibly distill four years of my life, countless friendships, and untold numbers of memories, down to a single word? An impossible task to be sure. So instead, I took the easier road and went with three words: For the Glory.

Distinguished Speakers Chosen to Speak at Commencement Ceremonies

PSU Contacts Minnesota-Duluth’s Hockey Coach


Big Ten Releases Men’s And Women’s Basketball Schedules

Penn State men’s basketball will kick off the Big Ten’s first-ever 20-game conference stretch with a pair of games in early December, while the Lady Lions have a slate featuring games against five NCAA Tournament teams at home.

Penn State Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Student Life

Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

Freshman 101: Helpful Links

Nominations Now Open For Gender-Neutral Homecoming Court

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Mayor Don Hahn Plans To Veto Overnight Parking Restrictions In Highlands Neighborhood

Those in favor of the ordinance plan to consider overturning the veto at a special meeting next Monday.

Video Recovery, Alcohol Education The Focus As New Preliminary Hearing Begins For Former Beta Theta Pi Brothers

Seven former Beta Theta Pi brothers were back in court on Tuesday for another preliminary hearing  in the Penn State fraternity hazing case stemming from the 2017 death of pledge Timothy Piazza.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

Send this to a friend