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.