Houses, Cars, and Massive Bonuses: The Perks of Being a University Executive

Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked quite a bit about the rising cost of tuition here at USC. We’ve also discussed how that money might not be going to the places you think. Like the classroom.


As the price of tuition continues to climb, USC has driven down the cost of instruction by hiring the majority of our faculty into temporary, contingent positionsoffering low pay and no job security.


At the same time, executive compensation at USC has skyrocketed. Take a look:



As The Atlantic recently pointed out, the income disparities between university faculty and administrators are “an important indication of a given higher-education institution’s fiscal priorities”. We couldn’t agree more.


The widening wage gap between faculty and administrators is troubling, to say the least. But the millions in executive compensation are just the beginning.


Just check out all the perks:


USC provides President Nikias with a private car and driver.2


Allows President Nikias to live in a $2.3 million dollar, 12,000 square foot mansion rent-free.3


USC paid out over $2.6 million in executive bonuses in CY 2013.4 That’s a 54% increase since 2009.


USC pays for health and social club memberships for Nikias and other top executives.5


USC pays for personal financial planning services for top executives.6


USC made an estimated $7.5 million in home loans to top executives between 2009 and 2014.7


Tuition is rising.


Faculty are struggling.


USC executives are doing better than ever.




1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Title IV participating institutions: Public, 2 year and 4 year and above; Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above; For-profit, 2 year and 4 year and above. Institution employees (excluding medical school)- all staff with faculty status that are Tenured, On Tenure Track or Not on Tenure Track/No Tenure System, Fall 2013 and Fall 2003. Contingent refers to all employees with faculty status Not on Tenure Track/Tenure System.

2. University of Southern California FY 2014 IRS form 990 received by request from the institution.

3. University of Southern California FY 2014 IRS form 990 received via request from institution and LA County Assessor records for 1550 Oak Grove, San Marino, CA.

4. University of Southern California FY 2014 IRS form 990 received by request of the instituion and University of Southern California FY 2014 IRS form 990 received by request from institution

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. University of Southern California FY 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009 IRS 990 forms. 2009. 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 990s retrieved from on 1/27/15. 2014 990 received by request from the institution.


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