The 10 Highest-Paid College Presidents

Shirley Ann Jackson Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute College PresidentVia Wikimedia CommonsRensselaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirely Ann Jackson

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirley Ann Jackson made more than $US7 million in 2012, the most of any private college executive, according a new report from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The higher education publication surveyed executive compensation data collected from 2012 IRS filings for close to 500 colleges with the largest endowments. This year, The Chronicle changed their methodology to only include direct payments to the college presidents — such as their base salary, bonus, nontaxable benefits, and other reportable compensation.

Thirty six college presidents earned over $US1,000,000 in 2012 — up one from the previous year — The Chronicle found. On average, college presidents earned nearly $US400,000 in 2012, up 2.5% from 2011.

While RPI president Jackson is often included in The Chronicle’s annual report, she is not usually this high up on the list. In 2010, Jackson extended her contract at RPI, and according to The Chronicle, “A large portion of her compensation in 2012 came from the pay out of nearly $US5.9-million that had been set aside over 10 years as a retention incentive.”

Here are the 10 highest paid college presidents, via The Chronicle:

  1. Shirley Ann Jackson (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) — $US7,143,312
  2. John L. Lahey (Quinnipiac University) — $US3,759,076
  3. Lee C. Bollinger (Columbia University) — $US3,389,917
  4. Amy Gutmann (University of Pennsylvania) — $US2,473,952
  5. Charles R. Middleton (Roosevelt University) — $US1,762,956
  6. Susan Hockfield (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) — $US1,679,097
  7. David W. Leebron (Rice University) — $US1,522,502
  8. John E. Sexton (New York University) — $US1,404,484
  9. Marc Tessier-Lavigne (Rockefeller University) — $US1,381,341
  10. Richard C. Levin (Yale University) — $US1,369,856

Note: Hockfield and Levin are no longer the presidents of their respective colleges.

Check out the full table of college presidents’ compensation at The Chronicle of Higher Education >>

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