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Presidential salaries, Mount Vernon tourism, Virginians and their vanity tags, and pagan rights at Marshall University

Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 11/19/2007

presidential box scores College presidents make a pretty good buck, according to a new survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education. While critics challenge the wisdom of the investment, college-board members will tell you that the adage "you get what you pay for" definitely applies to the men and women who serve as a school's No. 1 cheerleader and fundraiser. The best will always be baited with bigger carrots from other schools.

But the college president, it turns out, isn't the Big Man on Campus when it comes to a paycheck. At the University of Virginia, for example, highly regarded president John T. Casteen III hauls down $753,672 a year, while football coach Al Groh has hit even richer paydirt, exceeding by more than $1 million the annual gross of his cross-campus colleague.

With the Cavaliers ranked 17th in the nation with a 9-2 record, U.Va. fans figure Mr. Groh is worth every penny--and more.

Among public-college presidents, Mr. Casteen's pay is second in the survey only to that of the recently retired David Roselle of the University of Delaware.

Just for the record, University of Mary Washington president William Frawley was making $305,000 a year before he was dismissed.

Private colleges, whose presidential salaries are not bound by state government budget constraints, put some of their fearless leaders in the rarefied air of the seven-figure W-2.

A dozen private-college presidents were making more than $1 million when the 2006 figures for the survey were gathered. Since then nine of the 12 have moved on, much to the relief, no doubt, of the schools' endowment executors.

a million at mount vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon mansion is experiencing a welcome surge in tourism popularity, officials there report. The historic site welcomed its millionth visitor for 2007 last week, putting it over the million mark for the first time since 2001.

Mount Vernon is on pace to draw more than 1.1 million this year, an 18 percent increase over 2006 and continuing an upswing since a low point in 2003.

Officials say the investment in a new museum and orientation center has paid off, attracting a new generation of visitors while encouraging prior guests back to see what's new.

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