Kentucky Community College System President Michael McCall Again Highest Paid in Country


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Seven years ago Kentucky’s Michael McCall was ranked as the highest-paid community college system president in the nation. Today, he still holds down the top spot, according to a new analysis and ranking by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

McCall, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, received $669,463 in total compensation in fiscal 2013, the Chronicle of Higher Education noted. That put McCall at the No. 35 spot on the pay list for college presidents and No. 1 among community college presidents.

Michael McCall


Michael McCall

We recently highlighted McCall’s compensation as well as a generous retirement package. Last year, he received a $78,509 bonus, a $90,000 housing allowance, and an automobile allowance of $3,600 per month.

He will still receive a paycheck after he retires in January. We obtained a 16-month-old document that shows he will become president emeritus for one year and draw his final base salary, or $324,321. To earn it, he “shall perform duties as requested by his successor.”

Unlike McCall, at least nine other presidents emeriti at other state schools do not receive any compensation for the honorary position.

Professors and employees at the school were not pleased with our report. Enrollment is down to its lowest level in five years, while tuition revenue and state funding are at eight-year lows. Tuition is up and cuts are underway.

The Chronicle of Higher Education report shows McCall made $2,537 less than Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, who is ranked 34th. He earned $2,550 more than Oregon State University President Edward Ray at 37th.

The next highest-paid community college president, Glenn DuBois of Virginia, is a distant second, with total compensation of $501,283 and a ranking of 85th. Beyond that, one has to go to the No. 111 spot and Bruce Leslie, chancellor of the Alamo Community College District in Bexar County, Texas. He made $445,313.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and University of Louisville President James Ramsey tied for 48th place with $625,000 each, according to the survey posted last Friday. Former Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee headed the list with total pay of $6.1 million.

Reporter James McNair can be reached at or (502) 814-6543.

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One thought on “Kentucky Community College System President Michael McCall Again Highest Paid in Country

  1. Sadly, KCTCS faculty are among the LOWEST paid in the nation, with adjunct teachers earning a pittance of $1600 per class, with a max of 4 classes per semester. So Masters Degree recipients earn $12,800 annually in Kentucky, while expected to devote time and energy to maximizing the experience for underprivileged students- most of whom make MORE than the teachers- for the only Kentucky higher education system to get a budget cut for 2014-15, where the President is the highest paid in the nation. Talk about priorities.