Update: Comments from U-Va. and Strayer added below.
Update: I learned this afternoon that former U-Va. President Casteen actually earned nearly $400,000 for serving on two different corporate boards in 2011. Details below.
The former presidents of the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University each earned more than $200,000 a year for serving on corporate boards, in addition to their presidential salaries, according to an analysis by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Former U-Va. President John T. Casteen III and former JHU President William R. Brody are, of course, accomplished men whose time is certainly valuable.
But the Chronicle’s story raises a couple of obvious questions: How much work could either man have possibly done to justify $200,000-plus in compensation for serving on a governing board? And, how much free time could they possibly have had to work these second jobs, given the demands of a major university presidency?
As one commenter put it, “Who knew being a university president was such a part-time gig?”
In Casteen’s case, however, there was little overlap between the two jobs.
Casteen earned $251,823 in 2011 for serving on the board of Altria Group, the tobacco giant formerly known as Philip Morris. U-Va. He earned another $131,000 for serving on the board of Strayer, the for-profit college, according to Strayer officials. That’s on top of his $703,648 compensation from U-Va., according to the Chronicle.
Casteen was appointed to the Altria board in February 2010, and his first board meeting was in May of that year, according to university spokeswoman Carol Wood. Casteen left the university presidency Aug. 1 of that year.
“So to answer your question, this is not a board he served on while holding down the demanding job of running the University. This was a board position for which he intended to dedicate his time post-retirement,” Wood said.
Federal filings show Casteen joined the Strayer board around April 2011, after he had departed the U-Va. presidency. So that board position did not conflict at all with his duties as president.
(Interesting note: Only one public university president, Gordon Gee of Ohio State, earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2009-10, according to the latest Chronicle survey.)
Brody earned $264,796 last year for serving on the board of IBM, on top of his $3,821,886 in university compensation.
(That number is high because it was an exit package and included deferred compensation from previous years. Brody was the second-highest-paid private current or former university president last year.)
The Chronicle’s report focused chiefly on apparent conflicts of interest created by a university president’s board service. University of Miami President Donna Shalala, for example, serves on the boards of two companies whose CEOs serve on her university’s board of trustees.
“In effect,” Jack Striping and Andrea Fuller, the Chronicle report’s authors, write, “her role as a director at a national medical group and at a home-building empire places her in the position of functioning as her bosses’ boss.”
Neither Casteen nor Brody served under any such conflict. I checked, and it doesn’t look like anyone from IBM, Philip Morris or Strayer sits on the board of either JHU or U-Va.
Spokespeople for JHU and U-Va. had no immediate comment on the disclosures. If any arrives later today, I will add it to this post.