Highest paid college presidents

The Chronicle of Higher Education finds increase in the $500K group is strongest at public universities.

By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Running a university or college can make for 20-hour days and intense pressure to please a long list of factions from donors, board members and alumni to faculty, students and parents.

But the job is well paid.

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In its annual survey, the Chronicle of Higher Education found that 112 chiefs pulled down at least $500,000 among 853 public and private schools. That's up from 73 last year.

The jump was most pronounced among public university presidents -- 42 of whom earned at least $500,000, nearly double the 23 counted last year. A large portion of public-university leaders' compensation comes from public coffers such as taxpayer money and federal grants, while the rest may come from fundraising, tuition and other private sources.

Last year, compensation at private colleges broke the $1 million barrier for the first time, with 5 presidents earning at least that amount - there was no change in the number this year.

At public universities, the biggest compensation package fell just shy of the million-dollar mark. The University of Delaware's David Roselle earned $979,571 in pay and benefits. His base salary -- $729,054 -- is also the highest among public university leaders.

No. 2 on the list -- Martin Jischke of Purdue University, who made $880,950 in pay and benefits -- had the distinction of earning the biggest bonus ($400,000) among his peers on the list.

Jischke's bonus alone tops the compensation of the majority of public university presidents, who earn between $300,000 and $399,000, according to the Chronicle.

Of course, some of the folks who made the list of top 10 highest paid leaders at public and private schools had unusually large payouts because they were collecting deferred compensation -- such as Audrey Doberstein, who recently retired from Wilmington College. The majority of her $2.7 million package was retirement pay that she earned during her 26-year tenure.

The growth in college executive compensation is compared by many to the trend in corporate executive compensation and to a move toward a business model in the running of universities, for better or worse.

Patrick Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, told the Chronicle that at public universities the move toward higher pay can erode public confidence, especially when highly paid presidents make a plea for more state money.

Below are lists of the top 10 highest paid leaders at public universities, private research universities and private baccalaureate colleges. Top of page

Top 10 highest paid leaders of public universities
Leader Institution Total compensation
David P. Roselle University of Delaware $979,571*
Martin C. Jischke Purdue University $880,950
Mark A. Emmert University of Washington $752,700
J. Bernard Machen University of Florida $751,725
Mary Sue Coleman University of Michigan system $742,148
Mark G. Yudof University of Texas system $741,894
Carl V. Patton Georgia State University $701,524
M. Roy Wilson University of Colorado at Denver $697,500
John C. Hitt University of Central Florida $684,000
John T. Casteen University of Virginia $677,980**
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
*For 2004-05
**For 2005-06

Top 10 highest paid leaders of private research universities
Leader Institution Total compensation
Audrey K. Doberstein Wilmington College (Del.) $2,746,241*
E. Gordon Gee Vanderbilt University $1,171,211
Jefrrey S. Lehman Cornell University $1,004,034*
Shirley Ann Jackson Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. $983,365
Aram V. Chobanian Boston University $945,654*
Harold J. Raveche Stevens Institute of Technology $917,538
Constantine N. Papadakis Drexel University $886,279
Benjamin Ladner American University $881,696*
William R. Brody Johns Hopkins University $837,016
John E. Sexton New York University $798,989
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
*Stepped down

Top 10 highest paid leaders of private baccalaureate schools
Leader Institution Total compensation
Roger H. Hull Union College $1,024,652*
Frances D. Ferguson Vassar College $593,548*
Daniel F. Sullivan St. Lawrence University $551,643
Diana Chapman Walsh Wellesley College $513,401
Russell K. Osgood Grinnell College $512,445
William E. Troutt Rhodes College $511,200
John A. Fry Franklin & Marshall College $485,368
Morton Owen Schapiro Williams College $478,837
Douglas J. Bennet Wesleyan University (Conn.) $478,744
Larry P. Arnn Hillsdale College $473,415
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
*Stepped down
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