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Harvard has $1m loan for ex-chief

Severance package includes salary deal

The former Harvard University president, Lawrence H. Summers, received a severance package that could be worth up to $2 million or more, including a $1 million home loan, according to the university's annual Internal Revenue Service filing.

The package, though, is less than some notable severance pacts given to other university presidents in recent years and less than rumored in some quarters of Harvard's campus since Summers stepped down last summer.

His severance package includes a year's sabbatical, which presumably would be paid at his presidential salary; "less than one year's salary" in future pay supplements; and the home loan, according to the filing. Summers was also appointed as a university professor at Harvard, the highest rank.

Summers's compensation in 2005-2006, his final year as president, was $611,226, including base pay of $580,115.

Summers, who resigned amidst controversy after five years in office, declined to comment last night. A university spokesman said Harvard does not comment on compensation beyond what it is required to report to the IRS.

"Harvard had a need to make a change, so they did what they did to make it amicable, as distinct from adversarial," said Robert Atwell, former president of the American Council on Education. "I'm not prepared to say this is a bad settlement."

Atwell has been a critic of the steep rise in presidential pay in academia.

In 2003, Boston University paid $1.8 million to Daniel S. Goldin to depart the presidency before he had even taken office. In 2005, American University president Benjamin Ladner, under fire for lavish spending, received $3.7 million in his parting deal.

When he resigned, Summers acknowledged that he had become ineffective after repeated battles with faculty members over his management style. One of his biggest controversies occurred in January 2005 over his comments that women may not have the same "intrinsic aptitude" for science as men.

While in office, Summers lived in Harvard's presidential mansion.

In addition to his regular compensation last year, he received $102,779 for housing outside Cambridge, legal expenses, personal travel, loan interest subsidies, and retirement gifts. Part of the money helped pay for his apartment in Washington, D.C., where his children live. He became president at Harvard after stepping down as secretary of the treasury.

In addition to the sabbatical and future salary supplements, the severance agreement included moving and other expenses.

Universities commonly help professors buy real estate with loans carrying extremely generous terms.

According to the filing, Summers's loan, made June 6, 2006, requires interest-only payments between 2010 and 2014. After August 2014, it will require payments of both principal and interest.

Summers and his wife, Elisa New, a Harvard English professor, bought a 6,541-square foot Colonial in Brookline last year for $2.53 million.

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