In fact, of the 88 private-college employees who made $1 million or more in the 2007 fiscal year, only 11 were chief executives, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s analysis of compensation packages of more than 4,000 employees at nearly 600 private colleges.
The top two earners were a football coach at the University of Southern California and a Columbia University dermatology professor, each of whom received more than $4 million.
Carroll, the head football coach at U.S.C., received $4,415,714 in
2007, about four times as much as the president of the university,
Steven B. Sample. Dr. David N. Silvers, the Columbia dermatologist,
received $4,332,759, compared with $1,411,894 for Lee C. Bollinger,
the president of the university. And he was not the only Columbia
employee who out-earned the president: Dr. Jeffrey W. Moses, a professor
of medicine, received $2,532,713.
“There are a lot of different
spheres of influence throughout a university,” said Jeff Selingo,
editor of The Chronicle, “and since medical schools and some specialties
within them generate so much revenue, it’s not surprising that
compensation reflects that.”
Mr. Selingo added: “Chief financial
officers are highly paid because they are generally people who could get
a job at a Fortune 500 company. What’s actually most interesting to me
is that chief academic officers are getting so much. I think what’s
happening is that they’re becoming the ones running the university day
to day, as presidents are increasingly away from campus, talking to
donors or traveling overseas to set up partnerships.”
The Chronicle’s data, which is taken from the Internal Revenue Service’s
Form 990, do not include executives at public universities, who do not
file that form. The figures, the most recent available, are from the tax
filing for the 2006-7 fiscal year.
The pay for university
presidents has risen sharply over the last decade — as has the gap
between their pay and that of the average professor. At private
colleges, The Chronicle found in its annual compensation survey, the
average president’s salary is about $500,000.
Shortly after The
Chronicle’s survey of presidential compensation was released in
November, amid the nation’s financial meltdown, many public figures
criticized the high pay, and a few presidents voluntarily gave back a
portion of it.
“When you have college presidents making $1
million, you’re going to have $800,000 provosts and $500,000 deans,”
said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education. “It may be reasonable for these people to
be well paid, but if faculty’s getting 2 percent raises, I don’t see why
senior administrators who are already high-paid should get much larger
increases. It reflects a set of values that is not the way most
Americans think of higher education.”
David L. Warren, president
of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities,
issued a statement on Friday noting that highly paid university
employees are the exception, not the rule. The median compensation for
all employees in the Chronicle survey is $160,493, he said,
significantly less than comparably skilled and experienced professionals
would earn outside of universities. The new Chronicle analysis of pay
data listed the 10 highest-paid employees other than chief executives,
the 10 highest- paid financial officers and the 10 highest-paid academic
officers. Only Emory University and Vanderbilt University were represented on all three lists.
had two of the highest-paid employees on the top 10 list: Dr. Harry R.
Jacobson, the vice chancellor for health affairs, and Norman B. Urmy,
the former executive vice president for clinical affairs, who stepped
down in June 2006. Each had a pay package worth more than $2.4 million.
Vanderbilt also had the highest-paid academic officer, Nicholas S.
Zeppos, who earned $1,046,751, and the second-highest-paid financial
officer, Lauren Brisky, who earned $1,159,197 and is retired as of this
In 2007, The Chronicle has reported, Vanderbilt also had
the highest-paid university chief in the nation — E. Gordon Gee, who
forfeited about half of his $2 million compensation package when he left
to become president of Ohio State University.
Mr. Zeppos then succeeded him as chancellor of Vanderbilt last March.
The executive vice president for health affairs at Emory, Dr. Michael
M. E. Johns, received $3,753,067, The Chronicle found, while the chief
financial officer, Michael J. Mandl, received $666,300, and the chief
academic officer, Earl Lewis, received $536,540.
The compensation figures include deferred compensation, some of which is subject to forfeiture.
Generally, fertility doctors are among the highest paid.
At Cornell, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility received $3,149,376, and at New York University,
Dr. James A. Grifo, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was paid
$2,393,646. Both substantially out-earned their presidents.