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Public university presidents see increase in pay and benefits, survey says

By Andrew V. Pestano
Pennsylvania State University at University Park President Rodney A. Erickson is the highest compensated president of public universities, earning $1,494,603 in total benefits in 2014. File Photo by George Powers/UPI
Pennsylvania State University at University Park President Rodney A. Erickson is the highest compensated president of public universities, earning $1,494,603 in total benefits in 2014. File Photo by George Powers/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- Presidents of public universities saw their median salary grow to $428,250 in 2014, a seven percent increase, with two presidents earning more than $1 million.

A report by The Chronicle of Higher Education provides data on 238 chief executives at 220 public universities in the United States and breaks down the information between base pay, bonus pay, severance, deferred compensation paid, deferred compensation set aside and retirement -- compiling it all into total compensation.

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The president paid the most is Pennsylvania State University President Rodney A. Erickson, who received $1,494,603 in total compensation in 2014. He also receives benefits of a university-owned car and a social club.

Second on the list is Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin, who received total compensation of $1,128,957. He also benefits from a university-owned house.

Ohio State University interim President Joseph A. Alutto, whose term ended in June 2014, earned $996,169 in total compensation at third on the list.

"This year, we took a close look at the perks and benefits, and found that 80 percent of these presidents are getting housing and cars," Sandhya Kambhampati, a reporter at The Chronicle, told The New York Times. "There were also presidents who got maid service, personal trainers and food stipends. The list of benefits has grown from previous years."

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Presidents paid the least include University of California at Riverside Interim Chancellor Jane C. Conoley, who makes $31,629 in total compensation and University of Memphis President M. David Rudd.

For private universities, the latest available data is from 2012 and The Chronicle reports that 36 private university presidents made at least $1 million that year.

The highest paid private university president in the latest survey was Shirley Ann Jackson of the Rensselaer Polytechnic University. She made $7.1 million in 2012.

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