Insta points us to this scatterplot at the Chronicle of Higher Education. It plots (within the limits of reported numbers, and in any case limited to private universities) university president salaries against average professor salaries within that institution.
The thing I found most surprising was not so much the university president salary as the average professor salary, and not just in places like New York or at the Ivy League. Average and skewed by outliers, I’m sure, but just randomly eyeballing numbers, I was surprised at how well compensated professors are. Again, just randomly clicking dots, these seemed like numbers I would associate with salaries at the professional schools, not institutions overall. I’ve left comments open.
(Cranky Professor’s comments here, and Anon Jim in comments is right to distinguish salary from compensation. I remain surprised. Also, a commenter suggests that the university is best understood as having tenured faculty and senior administrators as shareholders – correct or not? What is the right public choice model to account for the university and its governance?)