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College presidents: Big rewards, less job security
Hot seats » The pay and the perks are sizable but the challenges are many.


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Trachtenberg, whose forthcoming book examines failed university presidencies, compares the job of running a campus to the work of hapless Russian sleigh drivers trying to keep the wolves at bay while crossing Siberia.

"The job of a university president is like driving a troika across a snowy field being chased by wolves, and you have to keep a hamper of lamb chops," he said. "You threw lamb chops off behind you, and the wolves stopped to eat and you got ahead. When they started pursuing again, you threw more lamb chops.

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"When your hamper is out of lamb chops, when the resources are diminished, you have less ability to slow down all the stakeholders, all the constituents — all the wolves — that are running after you."




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