Despite widespread frustration with the outsize costs of college, pay packages for private college presidents have continued to climb at a rapid clip, according to annual numbers compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In 2015 — the year with the most recent data available — average compensation jumped 9 percent, The New York Times reported. So did the number of college presidents earning more than $1 million, up to 58 presidents from 39 the year before. (Four of those were in Florida.)
These numbers come from The Chronicle’s annual survey of 500 private colleges.
“The number of presidents earning over $1 million is unusually high in 2015,” Chronicle reporter Dan Bauman told the Times. “We attribute that, in part, to a market where presidents are negotiating more deferred compensation and bonus packages before they take the job.”
Topping the list is Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch with $4 million, most of which was a lump sum bonus.
Here’s how Florida presidents stack up. The highest-earning private college president comes in at No. 18 on the overall list. Elsewhere, colleges dealing with leadership turnover sometimes paid several salaries at once.
Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale): George L. Hanbury II made $1,686,385, the equivalent of 61 student tuition payments.
University of Miami: New president Julio Frenk, who took over in April 2015, made partial-year compensation of $1,136,364. He replaced Donna E. Shalala, who took home $1,472,442 for the part of 2015 that she served. (Also, interim president Thomas J. LeBlanc, who has since left Miami, made $856,394 during part of 2015.)
Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne): Anthony J. Catanese, $1,042,548
Saint Leo University: Arthur F. Kirk Jr., who stepped down as president mid-2015, took home partial pay of $1,022,796. Current president William J. Lennox Jr. made $243,867 for his part of the year.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach): John P. Johnson, outgoing president, made $879,358, and his replacement, interim president John Watret, made $365,514.
University of Tampa: Ronald L. Vaughn, $731,725*
Rollins College (Winter Park): Acting president Craig McAllaster made $409,523 for part of the year. Outgoing president Lewis M. Duncan, who resigned under fire in 2014, made $655,766. Current president Grant H. Cornwell, who took the reins in summer 2015, made $286,582.
Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota): Larry R. Thompson, $629,640
Stetson University (DeLand): Wendy B. Libby, $573,015
Eckerd College (St. Petersburg): Donald R. Eastman III, $565,002
Palm Beach Atlantic University: William M.B. Fleming Jr., $474,693
Flagler College (St. Augustine): William T. Abare Jr., $473,822
Florida Southern College (Lakeland): Anne B. Kerr, $419,433
Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach): Edison O. Jackson, $409,823
Jacksonville University: Timothy P. Cost, $403,624*
*The University of Tampa data is from 2010, the most recent year available in the Chronicle database. The Jacksonville University data is from 2014.
Of course, it should also be said that leaders at public institutions are often compensated handsomely as well. President Judy Genshaft of the University of South Florida stands to make more than $800,000 under the provisions of her current contract.