Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Takes Heat

As RPI lays off 98 people, critics question president's $1.3 million compensation package.

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Shirley Ann Jackson, the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is taking heat for the cushy compensation package she received even as her school laid off 98 employees, the Albany Times Union reports. Jackson, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a possible replacement for Hillary Clinton in the Senate, was given a $1.3 million compensation package in 2006-07, as well as access to the presidential residence and a 36-acre Adirondack home that the school bought for $450,000. She also makes around $1.3 million for work on outside corporate boards, such as IBM, Marathon Oil, FedEx, Medtronic, NYSE Euronext, and PSEG, according to the Times Union.

At least one professor has suggested Jackson take a pay cut, pointing to other presidents who have done so already.

The layoffs are of particular concern since they tend to be rare (universities generally lean on hiring freezes and travel cuts first), and Rensselaer's layoffs have mostly been doled out to lower-wage workers.