Cowen pays €47,000 for executive leadership programme
A COURSE on the thorny issue of how much senior executives should be paid is part of the curriculum of the Executive Education Programme at Stanford University, which former Taoiseach Brian Cowen is attending, the Irish Independent has learnt.
Mr Cowen (52) paid $58,000 (€47,200) for the six-week course at the San Francisco college, running from June 24 to August 4.
As one of the key architects of the notorious bank guarantee of 2008 that has indebted the Irish public in order to bail out the banks, Mr Cowen may be interested in a module on "Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation" in which "the especially problematic" issue of the level of compensation paid to senior executives is discussed.
Another lecture he may also find stimulating delves into the "European Puzzle" in which serious issues facing Europe and Ireland -- including "low growth, high unemployment and bad demographics" -- are analysed.
There is also an elective course aimed at executives struggling with "authority issues" in which a lecture on acting and the analysis of non-verbal cues will teach them how "their non-verbal behaviours affect their status and power and the ability to move flexibly among different hierarchical roles".
At a cost of €7,800 a week, students "can experience the sunshine, the renowned faculty, innovative course work, beautiful classroom space, global executive participants and food prepared by an award-winning executive chef," according to the university's website.
Apart from the tuition, the fee also covers meals, private accommodation, course materials and an Apple iPad.
The course -- which first ran in 1952 and is described as "the flagship executive programme" of the business school -- is a six-week course in general management for "senior executives working in global companies, government agencies, and non-profit organisations".
Its guest speakers include former US secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and George P Schultz.
Previous participants include some of America's most senior executives, including the CEO of Cathay Pacific Airlines, John Slosar, and Diane Bryant, chief information officer at Intel.
Mr Cowen would be expected as a participant to "actively contribute to study group discussions and articulate informed positions on a variety of issues -- all on a daily basis", according to the course outline.