Levin’s salary third-highest in Ivy League

University President Richard Levin slipped from first to third place in total compensation among Ivy League presidents in the 2006-’07 fiscal year, according to data published Monday by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger was the highest-paid Ivy League president in that year, receiving a compensation package worth a total of $1,411,894. Amy Guttman, president of the University of Pennsylvania, was second at $1,088,786, according to the Chronicle, which on Monday released its annual report on the compensation of university presidents.

Nationally, presidents at private colleges and universities earned six- and seven-figure wages, too. In addition to the seven Ivy League presidents who each earned over $500,000, 82 others cleared the half-million dollar benchmark, the survey found.

Levin is the longest-serving president in the Ivy League, and he earned $955,407 in the period, the most recent year for which tax filings are publicly available. Yale’s president, who is also the Frederick William Beinecke professor of economics, is traveling in India this week and declined to comment on the subject of his compensation. (In addition to the compensation, Levin’s expense account totaled $17,870 for the year, according to the filings.)

While Levin’s salary and benefits have increased at around a 10 percent rate annually during his tenure, his counterparts in the Ivy League have seen more dramatic fluctuations.

Bollinger, for instance, received $769,725 in the 2005-’06 academic year, around half of what he received the next year. But Columbia’s records show that much of the $500,610 he received in benefits in 2006-’07 is performance-based retirement income that has not yet vested.

Brown University’s president, Ruth Simmons, received $775,718 in total compensation, an increase over the $689,007 she had earned the previous year. But her compensation shifted as her benefits decreased and salary increased dramatically because of deferred compensation that was paid out in 2007.

At Harvard University, the 2006-’07 year was a time of thrifty transition; Derek Bok served as interim president and a Harvard spokesman confirmed yesterday that, at Bok’s request, he received no compensation for his service.

For presidents of public research universities, median pay and benefits rose 7.6 percent in 2007-’08 to $427,400. The Chronicle’s survey found that compensation stayed relatively flat at private research universities but rose about 6 percent at private master’s and at bachelor’s institutions.

David Sargent, president of Suffolk University in Boston, was the nation’s highest-compensated university president, with a $2.8 million pay package in 2006-’07. The package included a $436,000 longevity bonus and more than $1 million in deferred compensation.

Excluding Bok, the seven remaining Ivy League presidents earned just under $900,000 in compensation on average. James Wright, the president of Dartmouth College, was again the lowest-paid Ivy League president with $569,761 in total compensation.


  • what?

    is this news?

  • Townie

    Is he worth it? My property taxes certainly haven't gone down and he's the defacto mayor of New Haven.

  • Waste of money

    That is too money for a prestigious and coveted position. Many competent faculty members would take the job and perform better for half the amount.

  • Anonymous

    i'm not sure if i care about how much any ivy league president makes. i'm not sure if i care at all, yale daily "news."

  • Anonymous

    levin's salary is way too high. any decent mba could do his job as good as he does it.

  • Recent Alum

    Levin's salary is not that high. He would have made at least 10 times more had he been working at a hedge fund in Greenwich or New York (well, maybe not in 2008, but in any normal year).

  • Hieronymus

    to #5

    You mean like Larry Summers did?

    College Prez is NOT just a mgmt job… I may not agree with *everything* Levin does, but he earns his salary.

  • Anonymous

    10% increase per year?? I work at Yale and my salary has not increased 10% each year. In fact, I believe that salary increases at Yale have been below the cost of living.

  • Anonymous

    Some of the top prep school heads get paid 300 to 500 grand per year. I think it is reasonable for the head of Yale to be pulling in $1 million; there is a TON of responsibility that comes with being President (in terms of setting the direction/future of the university and liability etc). Not anyone could do Levin's job VERY VERY WELL: Levin has done a solid job leading this University -- just check out the earlier YDN articles this year.

  • yale 2010

    he's been a great president for yale…not many would deny that. then why not reward him for it? the value of his leadership to the university is worth more than his million dollar paycheck

  • Happy Yalie

    Levin is worth every penny and then some. He needs a raise.

  • Geoge

    He is not a great president. Earlier this year, he attracted national negative attention to Yale by bashing prolifers. In the past, he has not been friendly to orthodox Jews and many other groups through reckless rhetoric.

  • Anonymous

    "i'm not sure if i care about how much any ivy league president makes. i'm not sure if i care at all, yale daily "news.""

    And yet you cared enough to comment.