Bonus Time At PHEAA

Jan Murphy at the Patriot News on PHEAA’s latest round of bonuses, noting that PHEAA CEO Dick Willey’s bonus is higher than Governor Rendell’s salary.

The headline “PHEAA’s bonuses blasted by lawmakers” is intriguing–given that the reason these bonuses seem so unscrupulous is that PHEAA was created and is overseen by lawmakers (16 of the 20 board members are current state legislators, two are former legislators). PHEAA, of course, defends the bonuses claiming they are standard among their private sector competitors. But this raises a number of questions?

1) Why is PHEAA a public agency?
2) Is PHEAA providing a “public service” or is it just a playground for legislators and PHEAA staff?
3) Why are bonuses are awarded – for political reasons or to encourage greater profitability?

Either answer to question #3 goes back to question #1–if the goal of PHEAA is to be a profitable company, it should be privatized. If PHEAA bonuses are used for political process, PHEAA should be privatized to eliminate such abuses.