The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual list of the best compensated private college and university presidents has just come out with the latest data, for 2012, and the people on it may surprise you.
According to the Chronicle, 36 presidents of private institutions of higher learning earned more than $1 million in 2012, though the average salary was about $400,000. It also reported that “on average, a private-college president’s salary accounted for about 0.5 percent of his or her institution’s overall budget in 2012.”
Her are the top 10 highest paid presidents of private colleges and universities. Remember that total compensation often includes deferred compensation, which is often used by boards of trustees to retain presidents.
1. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. Total compensation: $7,143,312
2. John L. Lahey, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn. Total compensation: $3,759,076
3. Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. Total compensation: $3,389,917
4. Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Total compensation: $2,473,952
5. Charles R. Middleton, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Ill. Total compensation: $1,762,956
6. Susan Hockfield, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. Total compensation from January through June, when she left the job: $1,679,097
7.David W. Leebron, Rice University, Houston, Tex. Total compensation: $1,522,502
8. John E. Sexton, New York University, New York City, N.Y. Total compensation: $1,404,484
9. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Rockefeller University, New York City, N.Y. Total compensation: $1,381,341
10. Richard C. Levin, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Total compensation: $1,375,365
You can find a lot of other data for these presidents and more than 500 more here.
The Chronicle does a separate list of the compensation of presidents of public colleges and universities. The latest such list was published in May 2014 for the fiscal year 2013. Topping that list was E. Gordon Gee, who earned total compensation of more than $6 million that year. He was followed by R. Bowen Loftin, who earned $1.6 million in fiscal 2013 as president of Texas A&M University at College Station. The third highest in fiscal 2013 was Hamid Shirvani, who earned $1.3 million as chancellor of the North Dakota University system. All three men have left those positions.