John Kenneth Galbraith’s much-quoted remark applies as much to university presidents; and it’s especially striking to see this gesture at public universities.

When Connecticut State University Chancellor David Carter came under fire from legislators last month, the head of CSU’s Board of Trustees issued a memo defending him, saying, among other things, that Carter had trimmed central office staff by nearly a third since his appointment in 2006.

And in fact Carter cut the staff by more than 28 percent as of this fiscal year, according to the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis. But personal services costs for the central office still increased by 14 percent in the same period, fueled in part by double-digit raises for Carter and top members of his staff.

The raises far outpaced the rate of inflation and the growth in pay for faculty and other employees. The largest raises went to Carter, whose annual base salary rose from $247,505 in 2006-2007 to $362,733 two years later, a 46.6 percent increase

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