A university presidents functions mostly similarly to the president of a country – they serve as the highest figure of authority, resolve disputes and oversee the running of the university to the standards of its managing boards. Typically, university presidents report directly to the university’s board, and as such don’t have a good degree of power attached to them – they’re mostly dependent on the decisions made by the board. On the other hand, the president still has some strong power in their hands, and is able to make some critical decisions on their own.
Climbing to the spot of a university president isn’t easy, and it’s in fact one of the most challenging career choices in academia. One needs to have obtained the highest level of educational qualification in their respective subject – i.e. getting a Doctorate where applicable – and candidates must also be well-acquainted with the operation of the particular university in question and the way it’s been organized, in order to know how to handle it properly.
As a university president, one usually stands to earn very highly – in most cases, the average salary would range between $80,000 – $180,000 a year. The pay is significantly higher at major Ivy League quality universities. The large gap comes from the significant differences present in the way different universities are run – it’s not uncommon for some to be able/willing to pay their presidents significantly more than the market average, plus it can also depend on the ranking of the president him/herself. The job’s employment opportunities are very good as well, allowing one to build a solid career.