Dec 08, 2022 Last Updated 14:31 PM EST

Personal Finance

Chronicle Survey: Salaries of Private College Presidents Continue to Rise

Dec 09, 2015 03:06 AM EST

The institutions of higher learning are continuously facing pressure to keep down costs. Yet, the salaries of the private college presidents are increasing.

According to Boston Globe, in 2013 the private college presidents' median total payment reached as high as $436,429, approximately 5.6 percent from 2012. The rate rose this year is more than double the rate rose last year.

A survey conducted in 32 private-college presidents found out that the maximum pay reached the level of $1 million in 2013, as mentioned by Chronicles. The top two positions were taken by longest-serving Ivy League leaders, Lee Bollinger, of Columbia University, and Amy Gutmann, of the University of Pennsylvania,.

Mr. Bollinger is reported to have earned just over $4.6 million, with a side payment of $1.26 million collected over 11 years. Ms. Gutmann, on the other hand, earned $3.06 million. She worked on a five-year capital campaign that raised $4.3 billion and got the bonus of $500,000.

Mostly the leaders of prominent colleges have made the list of the millionaires' club. But several presidents of less-well-known institutions are also included in the list.

High Point University is well-known for its free ice cream, campus putting green, and dormitories with outdoor hot tubs. And the president of this university, Nido R. Qubein was held as the third-highest-paid president. Among the 10 highest-paid presidents, the university has the lowest endowment of $42 million. Mr. Qubein earned just over $2.9 million. Out of it, $1.6 million was earned in the form of compensation delayed for three years.

Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva University in New York which I regarded as the flagship college of Modern Orthodox Judaism was held on the fourth position, as reported by New York Times. Yeshiva has been facing financial difficulties since 2008. It suffered a loss of about $100 million after investing with Bernard Madoff, a former university trustee, highlighting Mr. Joel's compensation of $2.5 million.

In 2009, Mr. Joel took action by deciding to minimize hiring and pay freeze. Since then, the university status fell below investment grade by Moody's Investors Service. Last year, the financial status of the university was explained as "continued weakening of the university's financial viability" and a "rapid deterioration of unrestricted liquidity."

Presidents of Tulane University, Vanderbilt University, Rockefeller University, John Hopkins University, University of Southern California and the New York University are included in the list of top 10 millionaires. Their salaries surpassed $1 million each.

"From talking to boards of trustees, often what we hear is that they'll pay whatever they have to retain the talent at their institutions," said Sandhya Kambhampati, a database reporter for The Chronicle. "There's a finite number of people available for these positions."

This year The Chronicle carried out another survey of public universities like its previously conducted surveys, revealing that salaries at those institutions were increased by 7 percent. Even under the college's financial crises, the salaries of the chief executives were generous. 

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