Bloomberg News

Private College Leader Pay Led by Kerrey Passes $1 Million

December 10, 2012

Thirty-six presidents of private, nonprofit U.S. universities were paid more than $1 million in 2010, led by Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska senator and president of the New School in New York, a study showed.

Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University in New York, with $1.93 million in total compensation, was the highest- paid president in the Ivy League and seventh-highest overall in 2010, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which published a study of the pay of 493 private school presidents yesterday. The average presidential compensation was $396,649 a year, up 2.8 percent from 2009.

Kerrey, who ran the New School for a decade before resigning in December 2010 in an unsuccessful bid to be re- elected to the U.S. Senate, made $3.05 million. Presidents’ compensation may include bonuses, deferred pay and benefits such as housing and cars, according to tax data. Following Kerrey on the list is Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, who was paid $2.34 million, and G. David Pollick, former president of Birmingham- Southern College in Alabama, at $2.31 million.

Richard Levin, the president of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, was the second-highest paid Ivy League leader and eighth overall, making $1.62 million. Levin is retiring in June 2013.

Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was paid $875,331, 47th on the Chronicle’s list.

Top-Paid Private College Presidents

1. *Bob Kerrey, New School, $3.05m
2. Shirley Ann Jackson, RPI, $2.34m
3. *G. David Pollick, Birmingham-Southern, $2.31m
4. Mark Wrighton, Washington University, $2.27m
5. Nicholas Zeppos, Vanderbilt, $2.23m
6. *Steven Sample, USC, $1.96m
7. Lee Bollinger, Columbia, $1.93m
8. Richard Levin, Yale, $1.62m
9. Robert Zimmer, University of Chicago, $1.6m
10. Jack Varsalona, Wilmington University, $1.55m

* No longer president

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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