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When Too Much is Not Enough
[Daily Iowan: Is Too Much Enough?]

Nicholas Johnson

The Daily Iowan

June 30, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by The Daily Iowan, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of The Daily Iowan.]

How much is enough?

Regent President pro tem Teresa Wahlert said, "'You get what you pay for. You don't get an extremely qualified academic and entice him to stay' with a lower salary," ("Board eyes more $ for prez," June 22).

Perhaps. Certainly, once hired, raises reflect respect.

You get what you pay for? Consumer Reports has spent 70 years disproving that canard.

And it's also possible that those initially attracted primarily because of the pay will be less enticed to stay.

Individual values differ. Some "know the price of everything (including themselves) and the value of nothing (including non-monetary 'income')." There are some whose self-esteem, motivation, and very lives are centered on, and measured only in, dollars. Wouldn't such individuals be less likely to be enticed to stay when the next, even higher, salary is dangled before them?

Perhaps someone who could earn much more, but takes the job anyway (because of the challenge, opportunity for growth, sense of contribution, or affection for the institution), is the president who would be most likely to be "enticed to stay."
Nicholas Johnson
visiting professor, College of Law