Heads of three Massachusetts university and colleges top list of highest paid presidents
Three of the highest-compensated private college and university presidents in 2011 were at the helm of Massachusetts schools, according to a survey released Sunday evening by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Each of these leaders at saw their wages bolstered by big, one-time retirement benefits.
The annual report, based on the tax filings of 500 private, nonprofit colleges and universities, places how much Massachusetts academic leaders receive in national context.
The survey found that in 2011, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun, received $3.1 million in total compensation, more than every other college and university chief except University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, who had a total compensation of $3.4 million.
Northeastern said Aoun’s 2011 compensation included $2 million that was set aside for him.He will not be paid the money until his time at the helm of the university ends, the school said.
Fifth on the list was former Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow, who retired in the summer of 2011 after a decade at the school. His total compensation in 2011 was $2.2 million, the survey found.
Tufts spokeswoman Kimberly M. Thurler said that figure included “a one-time, lump-sum payment of approximately $1.7 [million],” which included salary and benefits in lieu of an earned sabbatical, as well as accrued vacation.
Former Amherst College President Anthony W. Marx, who left that job in June 2011, notched the 11th place on the list, with $1.6 million in total compensation. Amherst spokesman Peter Rooney said Marx received “about $1.4 million in post-presidential pay” in 2011, in addition to $215,000 in “regular compensation.”
According to the survey, two other university presidents in Massachusetts received more than $1 million in total compensation in 2011.
Boston University President Robert A. Brown placed 14th with $1.4 million. Former Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield, who left that job in mid 2012, came in 28th with $1.2 million in total complementation for 2011
The survey examined the 500 private, nonprofit institutions of higher education with the largest endowments as reported to the US Department of Education. It used data from Internal Revenue Service Form 990, which is submitted by most nonprofits and is public record, to calculate compensation.
The total compensation figure includes take-home pay, benefits such as health care and housing, and money set to be paid out in later years.
The Chronicle notes, however, that some private, nonprofit universities, citing a religious exemption, do not file the form, and are thus not included.Joshua Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.