Total compensation

Key takeaways

  •   started as   at   in  .
  •  ’s previous employment includes:  .
  •   made   in total compensation in 2011 than in 2010.
  •  ’s base pay   from 2010 to 2011.

Prior-year comparisons are through 2008.

Prior year data is not available for  

* partial-year compensation
** Exclude money set aside in previous years that was paid out to the employee in the current year.

Key takeaways

  •   was the  highest-paid president in this peer group.
  •   made  highest-paid president of a similar institution.
  • The median pay for presidents in this peer group was   (excludes partial-year compensations).

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* partial-year compensation
** Exclude money set aside in previous years that was paid out to the employee in the current year.

Key takeaways

  •  ’s base pay was   times the average salary of full professors at  .
  • It would take   students paying full sticker price at   to pay  ’s full compensation.
  •  ’s compensation was   of  ’s total expenses.
  •   earned more than  % of other presidents in The Chronicle’s survey.

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Total compensation


Institution's expenses

Total expenses in 2011

Pay per millions in expenses


Full tuition and fees

2011 sticker price

Pay to tuition ratio


Base Pay


Full professor salary

Median salary in 2011

Base Pay to faculty salary ratio


* partial-year compensation

Key takeaways

  •   was the   highest-paid employee at  .
  •   made   than the  highest-paid employee.
  • The  highest-paid employee at   was a .

* partial-year compensation
** Exclude money set aside in previous years that was paid out to the employee in the current year.

Total compensation:
Base pay:
Bonus pay:
Deferred comp.:
Nontaxable benefits:
Other pay:
Nontaxable benefits:
Reportable benefits:
Median:   (excludes partial-year compensation)
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StateDisabled states have no institutional data
Highest degree granted
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Ivy League

Note: All figures are for 2011 unless otherwise noted.

By Jonah Newman and Brian O'Leary / Feedback

About these data

These data show the compensation received by 550 chief executives at 500 private nonprofit colleges in the United States during the 2011 calendar year.

For our analysis, we selected the private nonprofit baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral institutions with the 500 largest endowments, as reported to the U.S Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or Ipeds. Some nonprofit universities don’t report the value of their endowments to Ipeds, and those were excluded from our analysis.

This group of institutions varies slightly from those of past years, when all institutions with more than $50-million in total expenditures were included.

Compensation data were compiled from the Internal Revenue Service’s Form 990, which is filed by most nonprofit entities. Some private nonprofit universities cite a religious exemption from filing the Form 990 and were therefore excluded from our analysis.

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At some colleges, more than one president served during the 2011 calendar year. All individuals–including interim leaders–who served in the capacity of chief executive were used in the analysis.

Prior-year compensation data are available only for those presidents who appeared in The Chronicle’s analysis both for the 2011 calendar year and for prior years, even if they served at different institutions in that time. Prior-year data are available back to 2008, when the IRS changed the filing rules for the Form 990.

Some Roman Catholic colleges whose presidents are members of religious orders pay no direct compensation to their chief executives, instead allocating money to the religious order. Compensation for these presidents may be reported as $0.

Medians, where provided, exclude presidents who did not serve the entire calendar year.

Information about presidents’ tenures and prior employment was obtained from college websites, newspaper archives, or university offices. Photographs were also obtained from university websites.

The Chronicle has updated the algorithm used to determine “similar institutions,” and now offers three methods for generating “similar” lists. The “institutional similarity” index uses factors such as Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications, endowment value, total expenditures, percent of expenditures spent on instruction, admissions rate, and religious affiliation. The “student similarity” index is based on characteristics such as enrollment, percent of graduate students, percent of undergraduates who are 25 or older, percent of Pell Grant recipients, and median SAT score. The “overall similarity” index is a combination of the student and institutional indices.

Compensation components

  • Base pay: Base salary plus sick pay paid by the employer and employer contributions to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan.
  • Bonus pay: Incentive pay and signing bonuses.
  • Deferred compensation: Deferred compensation or retirement compensation set aside in the current year to be paid out in later years. Employment contracts often stipulate that this money is to be paid out after a certain number of years of service or upon a president’s retirement.
  • Nontaxable benefits: Health and medical benefits, life insurance, housing provided by the employer, personal legal and financial services, dependent care, adoption assistance, tuition assistance, and cafeteria plans.
  • Other pay: Miscellaneous pay and benefits, including severance payments, tax gross-ups (money an employer provides an employee for taxes paid on benefits), vacation leave cashed out, debt forgiveness, fellowships, employer-provided vehicles and parking, housing payments, travel, meals, moving expenses, entertainment, spending accounts, and club dues.
  • Vested deferred compensation, meaning money set aside in previous years that was paid out to the employee in the current year, can also be included in other pay.

Some of this compensation may be reported to the IRS twice, once in the year it was set aside and again in the year it was paid out. To exclude money that has been reported in prior years from the interactive charts, check the box next to “exclude vested deferred compensation.”