Private college presidents see pay increase slightly
494 presidents in the survey — leaders of institutions with budgets of at least $50 million — was $396,649, or 2.8 percent higher than in the previous year. But median base salary fell slightly, by less than 1 percent.
The highest paid was Bob Kerrey, who was president of The New School in New York until December 2010 before returning to Nebraska, where he made an unsuccessful run to return to the U.S. Senate. Kerrey’s total compensation was more than $3 million. His base salary was just over $600,000, but he received a $1.2 million retention bonus and more than $620,000 in deferred compensation.
It is common for such payments to inflate compensation for presidents in their final year in a position. Three presidents in 2010’s top 10 are no longer at those institutions: Kerrey, David Pollick of BirminghamSouthern College, and Steven Sample of the University of Southern California.
The highest-paid in 2010 who remains on the job is Shirley Ann Jackson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, who was No. 2 at $2.34 million, followed by Pollick, at $2.31 million. The highest base salary belonged to John Sexton of New York University: $1.24 million out of $1.48 million total compensa- tion.
The Chronicle has previously compiled salary data for the presidents of public institutions, which was available for 2011. Those figures showed three public university presidents earned more than $1 million in 2011, led by Gordon Gee of Ohio State with total compensation of just under $2 million.
Then there’s the other end of the scale: presidents of roughly two dozen Roman Catholic institutions including Villanova University, Boston College, Marquette and a number of smaller schools, whose compensation is zero. All are either clergy or members of religious orders. 1. Bob Kerrey (x), The New School, $3,047,703 2. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $2,340,441 3. G. David Pollick (x), Birmingham-Southern College, $2,312,098 4. Mark S. Wrighton, Washington University in Saint Louis, $2,268,837 5. Nicholas S. Zeppos, Vanderbilt University, $2,228,349 6. Steven B. Sample (x), University of Southern California, $1,963,710 7. Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia University, $1,932,931 8. Richard C. Levin, Yale University, $1,616,066 9. Robert J. Zimmer, University of Chicago, $1,597,918 10. Jack P. Varsalona, Wilmington University (Del.), $1,550,218