Like most students on campus, Kenneth Coleman’s life revolves around his studies, but with one catch: He is the husband of University President Mary Sue Coleman.

According to Caryn McTighe, vice president of diversity, education and global initiatives for the American Council on Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education, some universities provide presidential spouses with monetary compensation for planning functions and providing general support for their other half.

“In some cases (spouses of university president’s) get stipends when they are expected to fulfill institutional responsibilities … they act as a staff person to the president,” McTighe said.

But like most other Big Ten schools, the University does not compensate Ken Coleman for his supportive role.

“I receive no compensation from the University of Michigan for being a presidential spouse. I have not requested such compensation, nor would I accept it,” Ken Coleman said.

In addition to not receiving a salary for his role as the president’s husband, Kenneth pays tuition.

He also said situations vary at other institutions and those individual institutions are the best judges of “what arrangements best fit their circumstances.”

As the wife of the University of Indiana’s interim president, Jean Bepko’s responsibilities include overseeing operations at the presidential residence, hosting university functions and being a general assistant to her husband.

James Tinney, spokesman for the University of Indiana, said Bepko is paid the equivalent of $30,000 a year – excluding travel, car and phone allowances – and holds the title of assistant to the president.

As the husband of Ohio State University President Karen Holbrook, retired oceanographer Jim Holbrook is in a situation similar to Ken Coleman. Jim’s duties are general, but focus on supporting his wife and the Office of the President.

Like Ken Coleman, he receives no direct monetary payments for his work. “I have the luxury of doing things that help without receiving compensation,” Jim said.

He said that many spouses prefer not having any formal responsibilities because they can choose what projects they would like to work on. But, he added that if the amount of money offered were appropriate enough, many spouses would accept it.

“Many spouses of presidents feel that compensation, if adequate, would be welcomed. More often, (compensation has) been token in nature. When converted to a dollar per hour wage, it is below minimum wage,” Holbrook said.

Spouses of the presidents of Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, also do not receive salaries, but do play a role at the school.

Joanne Mcpherson, wife of Michigan State President Peter Mcpherson, started Safe Place, a domestic abuse shelter on campus. Terry Dunbow, school spokesman, said she is also active in the revitalization of homecoming festivities and the preparations for the school’s 150th anniversary.

The University of Minnesota has a written policy concerning compensation and duties for the spouse of the president. The spouse is expected to represent the university at a variety of events, and is for reimbursed travel costs and car mileage – much like salaried employees.

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