An opulent, rent-free mansion complete with staff is one of the perks of the job for many university presidents but the luxury is beginning to grate on financially strapped campuses, the Boston Globe reports. A chorus of complaints can be heard on campuses hit by layoffs, and universities like Harvard and MIT balked at letting the Globe's reporter gain access to the presidential mansions and estates.
Presidents like Harvard's Drew Faust, who lives in a 12-room colonial mansion dating from 1767, may be reluctant to show off their homes because "there’s an image issue here: presidents living in splendor," said a spokesman from the American Council on Education. The council's latest survey found that 28% of college presidents live in university-owned housing, while another 20% receive a housing allowance. Few people think that the homes should be sold, but some suggest the presidents take a pay cut to help with the cost.