The 10 highest-paid presidents at private colleges in America

Columbia University President Lee BollingerDave Kotinsky/Getty ImagesColumbia University president Lee C. Bollinger.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual executive compensation report ranking US college presidents based on their total pay.

Lee Bollinger, Columbia University’s longtime president, ranked first this year, with total compensation of more than $4.5 million in 2013 (the most recent data available).

That moved him up two spots from last year’s third-place ranking.

Six of the top 10 presidents in executive pay from last year did not make this year’s top 10, proving there is a bit of volatility in college executive pay. Most notably, Shirley Ann Jackson — who took the top spot last year making $7.1 million as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — fell to 14th place this year, making $1.3 million. (A $5.9 million “retention incentive” sent Jackson to the top of the list last year, The Washington Post noted.)

Shirley Ann Jackson Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute College PresidentVia Wikimedia CommonsRensselaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirely Ann Jackson did not make the top 10 this year.

The top 10 presidents make each make more than $1 million year:

10. C.L. Max Nikias: University of Southern California — $1,422,458

9. John Sexton: New York University — $1,452,992

8. Marc Tessier-Lavigne: Rockefeller University — $1,459,267

7. Ronald Daniels: Johns Hopkins University — $1,629,325

6. Scott Cowen: Tulane — $1,634,000

5. Nicholas Zeppos: Vanderbilt University — $2,147,452

4. Richard Joel: Yeshiva University — $2,503,794

3. Nido Qubein: High Point University — $2,909,148

2. Amy Gutmann: University of Pennsylvania — $3,065,746

1. Lee Bollinger: Columbia University — $4,615,230

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