Kent officials reap benefits of long hours

Breanne George

4 professors are among KSU’s top paid

Top ten highest paid employees at Kent State:
Name/Title Salary Appointment term
1. President Carol Cartwright $257,127 12 month
2. Provost Paul Gaston $194,361 12 month
3. David Creamer, vice president for administration $187,145 12 month
4. Kathy Stafford, vice president for university relations and development $175,542 12 month
5. Patricia Book, vice president for regional development $175,000 12 month
6. Edward Mahon, vice president for Information Services and CIO $175,000 12 month
7. Raj Aggarwal, professor and Firestone chair of corporate finance $170,927 9 month
8. Richard Varga, professor of mathematical sciences $163,649 9 month
9. Owen Lovejoy, professor of anthropology $162,667 9 month
10. Yuri Breitbart, professor of mathematical sciences $161,787 9 month

Professor Raj Aggarwal is ranked the No. 1 international business professor in the world by the Journal of International Business Studies.

He has taught all over the United States, from Harvard to Hawaii.

He works between 70 and 80 hours a week, conducting research and writing books and scholarly papers.

Aggarwal is one of the top 10 highest paid employees at Kent State, making $170,927 on a nine-month appointment. Aggarwal is one of four Kent State professors who made the list, along with President Carol Cartwright, Provost Paul Gaston and four university vice presidents. This information is from the last fiscal year.

From India, Alaska, Hawaii…to Ohio?

Aggarwal became the Firestone Chair of corporate finance in 1999. Prior to this position, he was the Mellen Chair in finance at John Carroll University.

He said he decided to become a professor at Kent State because he felt he owed the university a lot. Both he and his wife are alumni and have many connections here.

Aggarwal grew up in India and went to the Indian Institute of Technology, where he received his undergraduate degree. He came to the United States for graduate school.

“When I went to college in the late 60s, tuition in India was basically free,” he said. “I applied at the most prestigious schools in the United States, including Wharton Business School, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell. I was accepted to all of them.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have any money!” he added.

Aggarwal came to Kent State on a full scholarship.

Upon graduation, he became the chairman of the finance department at the University of Toledo. He said he made around $25,000.

Compensation at Kent State is based on many factors, primarily merit and experience, said Vice President of Administration David Creamer. Creamer is the third highest paid employee behind the president and provost, making $187,145 on a 12-month appointment.

The number of months an employee works in a year also affects his or her salary. Most administrative employees work 12 months a year; most professors work nine months. So a professor who has a lower salary than a senior level administrator may actually be making more money.

Creamer’s first job at Kent State was in 1982 as the director of internal audit. He went on to be the vice president of both the University of Alaska and Shawnee State University. He came back to Kent State in 1998 because his wife is from Northeast Ohio.

As vice president of administration, Creamer is in charge of 650 people and deals with everything from construction and financial matters to public safety.

Creamer said he tries to interact as much as he can with students, especially those in leadership roles.

He said he also looks to see what other universities are doing.

“There are trends everywhere that need to be taken into consideration,” Creamer said. “Ideas shouldn’t be limited to Kent State. What’s going on at other universities across the United States?”

Working overtime

Many faculty members on the list put in more than the traditional 40-hour work week.

Richard Varga, university professor of mathematical sciences, said he works 60 to 70 hours each week.

“If you love what you are doing, it isn’t really ‘work,'” Varga said

Varga, who makes $163,649 on a nine-month appointment, is the senior member on the list. He has taught at Kent State for more than 30 years.

Varga has many accomplishments to his name, including two degrees from Harvard University.

He started his teaching career at Case Western Reserve University as a full professor of mathematics.

“I was the youngest professor there at the age of 32,” Varga said. “That was 45 years ago.”

Varga mostly teaches graduate students.

“My graduate students are a great source of satisfaction for me,” Varga said.

Like Varga, most of the highest paid employees work an average of 70 hours a week. Some of them work 15-hour days Monday through Friday.

“I work so many hours because I love what I do,” said Patricia Book, vice president for regional development, who makes $175,000 on a 12-month appointment.

Book represents eight campuses at Kent State and works to link the university with the business community, which can help students obtain internships and jobs.

Book has three degrees, including a doctorate from the University of Connecticut. She funded her entire education – something she said she is very proud of.

“I borrowed the money, and once I got my first job, I paid back every penny,” she said. “Students must have the ability to receive as many funds and scholarships available to them as possible.”

Before Book came to Kent State a year ago, she was the associate vice president for outreach at Pennsylvania State University.

Book has lived everywhere from Alaska to the country of Cyprus, but she said she loves Northeast Ohio.

“The people are really friendly and sincere,” Book said. “There is a strong work ethic here that is inspiring.”

Kent State’s salaries are comparable to other public universities in the area including The University of Akron.

“Public universities are usually higher paid than less competitive private universities,” Creamer said. “Compensation has a lot to do with the size and complexity of the organization.”

The top 10 highest paid employees have made many accomplishments in their lives, but for Aggarwal, his number one accomplishment is not his many awards or reaching the top in his career. In fact, his number one accomplishment is not his at all.

It is the success of his students.

“Many of my former students are CEOs of important companies,” he said. “Yet they still have time to go out to lunch with me or call me on the phone. I get the most satisfaction from them. I think to myself, ‘Maybe I played a part in their success.'”

Contact enterprise reporter Breanne George at [email protected].



Tristan Morgan, Student Quality Advisory Committee member:

  • Says compensation should be based solely on experience.
  • “Experience and education are very important. The highest paid employees have worked very hard to get to the top. They have paid their dues.”
  • “(Vice President of Administration David) Creamer is very receptive to what students have to say. He always takes the time to talk to students, and I really admire that quality about him.”

Bill Ross, executive director of the Undergraduate Student Senate:

  • Says employees with the most responsibility deserve the highest pay.
  • “President Cartwright has the most responsibility at Kent State,” Ross said. “She represents the university. Her pay should be correlated to that.”



A paycheck isn’t the only compensation for employees on the university payroll.

  • All Kent State employees receive health care, retirement, vacation and sick leave benefits.
  • Senior-level administrators on the list receive a car allowance. Patricia Book, vice president for regional development, said she uses a leased car to travel and work with the eight Kent campuses and do outreach work throughout Northeast Ohio
  • President Carol Cartwright is the only employee at Kent State to receive a housing allowance, which ensures she lives close to the university. This is common at many universities, Creamer said.