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9 public college presidents' pay topped $1 million

Monday, May 19, 2014 | 7:59 a.m. CDT; updated 11:43 a.m. CDT, Monday, May 19, 2014

*CORRECTION: The compensation reported for R. Bowen Loftin is for the 2013 calendar year, not the fiscal year.

BALTIMORE— The number of public college presidents earning more than $1 million more than doubled in the 2012-13 fiscal year from the year before, according to a new survey.

The Chronicle of Higher Education study found that nine college presidents earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2013, compared to just four in 2012. That included Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin, who is now the chancellor at MU. He was the second-highest paid.

Public college presidents first exceeded the $1 million total compensation mark in 2006-07, according to the survey.

Gordon Gee topped the list, earning $6.1 million as the head of Ohio State University. Gee resigned that post last year after making comments about Roman Catholics, the University of Notre Dame and Southeastern Conference schools. He is now president of West Virginia University.

The study took into account base salary, bonuses, retirement, severance and deferred pay — an incentive offered to presidents who stay in their positions for an agreed-upon period of time.

Four of the college presidents on the top 10 list have retired. Two others have accepted positions at other universities.

The top 10 earners in the fiscal year 2012-13 were:

Gordon Gee, president of the West Virginia University

Gee's compensation total is based on payments he received at the Ohio State University, from which he resigned in June 2013 after six years as president. Gee earned $6.1 million in 2013, which includes $3.3 million in deferred pay and $1.55 in retirement and severance pay.

R. Bowen Loftin, president of Texas A&M University at College Station

Loftin earned $1.6 million and resigned from his position in January after three years.. Loftin's $425,000 base salary did not change from 2012 to 2013, however in 2013, he was paid $950,000 in severance and retirement pay. Loftin's total compensation is for the 2013 calendar year, not the university's fiscal year.*

Hamid Shirvani, president of North Dakota University system

Shirvani earned roughly $1.3 million in 2013. He retired in June 2013, after less than a year in his position overseeing the 11-campus system. He was paid $962,095 in severance and retirement pay — more than double his $349,000 base salary.

Renu Khator, University of Houston main campus

Khator earned roughly $1.26 million in 2013. She has served in the position since 2008. Nearly 45 percent of Khator's total compensation comes from bonus pay and deferred pay on top of her $700,000 base salary.

Sally Mason, University of Iowa

Mason earned roughly $1.14 million in 2013. She has served in her position since 2007. More than half of her total compensation is made up of deferred pay on top of her $493,272 base salary.

Michael McRobbie, Indiana University at Bloomington

McRobbie earned approximately $1.1 million in 2013. He has served as the university's president since 2007. McRobbie earned $567,076 in deferred pay, bonuses and other benefits, and $544,848 in base pay.

Michael Adams, University of Georgia

Adams earned about $1.1 million in 2013 and retired from his position in July. His base pay for the year was $258,760; the vast majority of his total compensation is made up of deferred pay.

Gordon Moulton, University of South Alabama

Moulton earned about $1.1 million in 2013. Moulton retired in January 2013 and died in September. Moulton earned $666,046 in severance and retirement pay, on top of his $406,075 base salary.

Mary Sue Coleman, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Coleman earned about $1 million in 2013 and has served as president since 2002. On top of her $603,357, Coleman earned $200,000 in bonus pay and $234,000 in deferred pay and retirement pay.

Mark Yudof, University of California system

Mark Yudof, the only top-earning president whose compensation is shy of $1 million, served as president from 2008 until September of 2013, when he retired. Yudof's total compensation accounts for his base pay of $591,084 and $266,000 in retirement pay.


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