15 college presidents who’ve been paid millionaire salaries

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Columbia University President Lee Bollinger

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Much like business-executive pay, university-president compensation has grown over the past decade. 

The Chronicle updated its executive compensation tracker in July 2020 to include the most recent data on salaries from public and private institutions. The most recent data for public university salaries is from 2019, while the most recent data for private university salaries is from 2017.

Read more: The 25 highest-paying entry-level jobs for college grads

The highest-paid university president in the ranking is the former president of Bryant University, Ronald K. Machtley. He stepped down this past summer, but he made $6,283,616 in 2017 — or 50 times what the average professor earns at the university.

Most of the highest-paid presidents preside over private colleges, but two public-university presidents made the top 15: Georgia State University President Mark P. Becker and former Auburn University President Steve Leath.

A handful of the highest-paid college presidents have resigned from their posts. A couple did due to scandal — the former president of the University of Southern California, CL Max Nikias, for example, departed in 2018 after 200 professors signed a letter accusing him of mishandling allegations of sexual assault involving a former campus gynecologist. 

The gap between what faculty members and presidents earn has also risen. Tenure-track positions have shrunk as low-wage adjunct professors — who typically work without benefits — increase on campuses, according to the American Association of University Professors. 

“There has never been as great a discrepancy in higher education between those who are the highest paid and those who are the lowest paid,” William Tierney, professor and co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California, told The Washington Post. “What higher education is doing is mirroring the behaviors of the corporate world.”

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Here are the highest-paid university presidents from private and public colleges in the US:

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15. Johns Hopkins University’s Ronald J. Daniels made $1,734,651 in 2017.

Base pay:  $1,281,704

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 16:1

14. Northwestern University’s Morton O. Schapiro made $1,788,821 in 2017.

Base pay:  $1,096,539

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 9:1

13. Auburn University’s Steven Leath made $1,836,226 in 2019. He resigned that same year.

Base pay:  $324,399

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 4:1

12. George Washington University’s former President Steven Knapp made $1,945,528 in 2017. He stepped down that same year.

Base pay:  $728,187

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 11:1

11. Quinnipiac University’s John L. Lahey made $2,045,417 in 2017. He retired in 2018.

Base pay:  $1,060,000

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 16:1

10. Yeshiva University’s former President Richard M. Joel made $2,196,103 in 2017. He stepped down in 2017.

Base pay:  $660,234

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 12:1

9. Savannah College of Art and Design’s President Paula Wallace made $2,196,808 in 2017.

Base pay:  $966,347

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor salary: 27:1

8. Columbia’s President Lee Bollinger made $2,211,069 in 2017.

Base pay:  $1,405,761

Ratio of total compensation to average full-professor …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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