6/11/09

Forward: Yeshiva University President Richard Joel fired 60 employees but won't take a pay cut

In December 2008 we pointed out that Yeshiva University paid its president Richard Joel $698,495, plus the institution gave him an expense account of $84,869, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education, Facts and Figures, Executives' Compensation at Private Institutions for 2006-7.

According to our analysis, that's an $80,000 raise from his compensation package of the previous year. At that rate of increase it's fair to assume that two years later, i.e., this year, 2008-9 his compensation is more than $940,000.

The Forward this week, with both a detailed report and a principled editorial, has mounted an attack against Richard Joel and other Jewish non-profit executives who have fired employees in their organizations but have not themselves taken a pay cut.

In particular we agree with this conclusion that the editors draw, "...Nonprofit organizations that exist to serve the Jewish community ought to exemplify the empathy they ask of us. We are asked to join, to donate, to volunteer, to offer up the hours and miles and sweat and money out of a deep caring for our fellow Jews and fellow human beings. But if the man in the corner office — and it’s nearly always a man — does not hold himself accountable to his workers and clients, then the organization is bankrupt, no matter what the balance sheet says."

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