… we might feel a little disgusted by his greed and ostentation, but if the free market, plus a little, you know, is going to reward Steve Cohen with a $13 billion dollar personal fortune, there’s really not much we can say.

University presidents aren’t rapacious free market capitalists; they’re people who run non-profits. When they act like Steve Cohen, it attracts attention. Negative attention.

So for the many years Shirley Ann Jackson has been Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s president, her unstoppably greedy ways have attracted consistently negative attention. To put the matter as bluntly as possible: She. Loves. Money. Indeed one might conjure images of her in her office counting her many-millioned compensation, but she’s on so many corporate boards (lotsa funny money there) she’s rarely around.

Years and years of grandiose, autocratic, institution-destroying behavior on Jackson’s part have certainly generated high-profile anger among faculty and students, and each protest and no-confidence vote duly gets covered in the local press; but nothing happens, and Jackson keeps raking it in. Her compensation four years ago was at least seven million; UD’s figuring with raises and continued multiple board ass-coolings, she’s up around ten mill by now.

RPI’s financial picture is now so bleak that everyone’s again up in arms; but this time they are informed that they are sexists and racists for complaining, so that will shut them up.

Jackson’s no spring chicken, by the way; at 71, she’s got to be ready for retirement soon. UD assumes RPI is bracing itself for one last, long, hard pull at the money tap before she goes away.

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One Response to “When a capitalist keeps enriching himself and enriching himself and enriching himself…”

  1. University Diaries » ‘Under [economist Thomas] Piketty’s preferred system of taxation, it would be exceedingly difficult to maintain fortunes greater than thirty-eight million dollars or so in the United States—that is, greater than a hund Says:

    […] Steve Cohen’s paltry thirteen billion ain’t sitting […]

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