These 10 states pay their university presidents the highest salaries

University Leaders Earn More Than the U.S. President

Since 2001, the president of the U.S. has earned a salary of $400,000, plus a $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment. According to a new report released by The Chronicle of Higher Education, some public university presidents and other top-paid college employees are earning far more per year than President Donald Trump and his predecessors. Some states paid the presidents of their flagship universities more than $1 million, including bonuses and compensation beyond their base pay.

The Chronicle evaluated the compensation packages of university leaders for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Out of the nearly 250 public universities and systems evaluated, these 10 doled out the most money to a top official:

10 highest paid university presidents
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10 highest paid university presidents

10. The Ohio State University

President Michael Drake

Total pay: $1.07 million
Base pay: $829,600

In addition to his base pay, Drake received a bonus of more than $200,000 and nontaxable pay of nearly $40,000. He also set aside nearly $267,000 for future payment. On average, faculty at The Ohio State University earned one-eighth of Drake’s total compensation during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

9. University of Florida

President W. Kent Fuchs

Total pay: $1.1 million
Base pay: $866,425

The University of Florida president also collected more than $215,400 in what the Chronicle labeled as “misc. taxable income, retirement contribution.” His benefits also included $162,400 in pay set aside and $66,045 in retirement funds.

8. Northern Illinois University

Former President Douglas Baker

Total pay: $1.12 million
Base pay: $450,000

Baker resigned from his post at Northern Illinois University in July 2017 after a report alleged that he had committed ethical violations. His severance pay totaled $647,248. He also had a retirement benefit of more than $33,000.

7. University of South Florida

University System President Judy Genshaft

Total pay: $1.18 million
Base pay: $493,500

The University of South Florida system president, who will retire in July 2019, was the only female to make this list. Genshaft was awarded a $175,00 bonus, deferred compensation reaching nearly $100,000 and a one-time retention stipend of a little more than $400,000.

6. University of Central Florida

Former President John Hitt

Total pay: $1.28 million
Base pay: $505,730

The University of Central Florida former president's bonus pay of more than $655,000 exceeded his base pay, and he also received $101,000 in deferred compensation. After serving as president for more than a quarter of a century, Hitt retired in June 2018. He was the university’s fourth president.

5. Texas A&M University System

System Office Chancellor John Sharp

Total pay: $1.29 million
Base pay: $900,000

Sharp leads the Texas A&M University system, which includes 11 universities. During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, he earned a $200,000 bonus and more than $174,000 in deferred compensation.

4. Temple University

Former President Neil Theobald

Total pay: $1.38 million
Base pay: $718,303

Theobald resigned from his post at Temple University during the first month of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, but he still earned $1.38 million thanks to deferred compensation of nearly $643,000 and more than $35,000 in retirement benefits.

3. University of Texas System

Former System Chancellor William McRaven

Total pay: $1.5 million
Base pay: $1.2 million

McRaven, who retired from his position an the University of Texas system in May 2018, earned a $300,000 bonus during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. He also set aside $400,000, which was not included in his total pay.

2. Auburn University

Former President Jay Gogue

Total pay: $1.83 million
Base pay: $451,333

Jay Gogue, who served as Auburn University’s president for nearly a decade, retired in June 2017. On top of his base pay, he received nearly $1.4 million in deferred compensation. Gogue's total compensation was 15 times the school's average faculty salary.

1. University of Louisville

Former President James Ramsey

Total pay: $4.29 million
Base pay: $55,703

Former University of Louisville President James Ramsey was paid more than any other public college president during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, despite the fact that he only worked 27 days during that time period. Ramsey stepped down from his position in July 2016. His base pay paled in comparison to his $3.5 million in deferred compensation and nearly $688,000 in severance pay. The year before, he made a far smaller $674,000.


Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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