December 11, 2017

As Of 2015, Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch Was The Highest Paid College President In The Nation

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What do Nathan Hatch and the recently departed executives at Cardinal Innovations have in common? They were both paid way too much for the work they performed.

Currently, the state is in the process of clawing back money from Cardinal Innovations. It’s unlikely that Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch will give any of the over $4 million that he made in 2015 back.

Wake Forest is a private college, it can more or less do what it wants. But surely the faculty and students at Wake Forest must feel outraged to learn that their president is making such an obscene amount of money. Hatch’s $4 million dollar salary in 2015 is more than Duke or even Harvard paid its top executives. It appears to be unprecedented in the history of higher education in this country.

By comparison, the compensation that Wake pays its professors amounts to poverty wages. By paying Hatch such an exorbitant and unprecedented amount of money the university is saying that its professors are worth only a fraction (1/27th according to the Chronicle of Higher Education) of what the president is worth. Hatch’s salary is another sign for professors at Wake and across the country that they must organize.

Beyond academics, the workers that keep Wake Forest operating, the cooks, cleaners, and maintenance staff; they all deserve a living wage. If Nathan Hatch can demand $4 million a year from Wake Forest ordinary workers are entitled to at least $15 an hour, plus benefits.

Hatch’s salary makes Wake Forest look like a pyramid scheme where undergrads pay $51,400 in annual tuition, but the executives on top reap the benefits. Going forward, Wake Forest needs to curb executive compensation at Wake and lower their tuition.

The Winston-Salem Journal has a good article on Hatch’s compensation and the university’s laughable justification for Hatch receiving Wall Street levels of compensation.

Yesterday, I wrote an article criticising Wake Forest for being concerned with enriching itself and being disinterested in reducing poverty in Winston.

Today I feel quite vindicated for taking a critical take on Wake. I look forward to hearing from students and faculty at Wake that are doing their best to escape poverty while their president is making money hand over fist.


In addition to President Hatch pulling in an excess of $4 million in 2015, the four top executives under him all made salaries in the high six figures. Dr. Rogan Kersh, Wake Forest University Provost, was chairman of the Poverty Thoughtforce. Perhaps Kersh, who made over $700k in 2015 has been lighting expensive cigars with the pages of the Poverty Thoughtforce report.


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