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

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