University | 7:53 pm | December 19, 2013 | By Matthew Lloyd-Thomas

Levin’s salary near top among college presidents

Former University President Richard Levin was well-compensated, even by industry standards, according to a new report.

The report, released by the Chronicle of Higher Education last week, detailed the 2011 salaries of 550 private university and college presidents across the country. Levin ranked tenth, taking home $1.65 million in 2011 in total compensation. $1.05 million of that was Levin’s base salary, while the rest was additional compensation. The figure is more than double the $410,523 median for private university and college presidents, which experts attribute to the size and complexity of an institution like Yale.

“It would be really difficult for you to prove to me that the challenges associated with running a $200-million institution are the same as somebody running an institution at $2-billion,” Ron Seifert, who advises college and university trustees on presidential compensation, told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “They are inherently different in terms of the managerial skills required.”

Yale’s endowment currently stands at $20.8 billion.

Levin’s compensation put him second in the Ivy League, behind Columbia President Lee Bollinger, who made just over $2.3 million in 2011. The top earner among private universities, though, was University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, who made over $3.3 million.

Among college presidents, though, Levin’s compensation as a portion of university expenditures ranked on the low end, with Yale giving Levin only $616 for every million it spent in 2011. Only 60 college private university and college presidents, of the 550, had lower proportions. By comparison, Chicago’s Zimmer took home $1,113 for every million his employer spent.

However, Harvard’s Drew Faust earned even less, making only $230 for every million her institution spent and not placing in the top 50 highest paid on the ranking.

Current University President Peter Salovey’s salary has not yet become public. In 2010, while serving as University Provost, he made about $560,000.

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