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IU's McRobbie among highest paid university leaders

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The number of public college presidents receiving more than $1 million in compensation more than doubled in the 2012-2013 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.

Among them were Michael McRobbie, the president of Indiana University at Bloomington.

Public college presidents first exceeded the $1 million total compensation mark in 2006-2007, 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 2012-2013:

— 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 of 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.

— 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. He now serves as chancellor of the University of Missouri. Loftin's $425,000 base salary did not change from 2012 to 2013, however in 2013 Loftin was paid $950,000 in severance and retirement pay.

— 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, and 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, and 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 Yudof's base pay of $591,084 and $266,000 in retirement pay.

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  • Interesting observation...
    Several of these people either retired or resigned in the last year or two. So, did the new people in their position get similar pay? Also, I would be curious to know how these schools are viewed at a national level in terms of rankings, bank for your buck, research, etc. I am pretty sure a couple of schools on this list are not high on the list or even mid-level.
  • Re: salary raises
    I won't dispute that those at the top get a lot, but Byzantine's comment is incorrect. Raises are not capped at 2%. The total budget for raises was 2% of total salaries. Individual schools decided how to distribute the raises. In my unit the raises were not equal-- i.e., some people got more than 2%. If everyone in your unit got a 2% raise then that is a decision your dean made.
  • usual story
    While the president's salary goes up, the salaries of other employees are cut in real terms. This year's salary raises are capped at 2%, same as the last 6 years. On top of that, the out of pocket burdens on employees (including clerical workers whose salaries are not that high) increases via health insurance premiums and parking fees.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

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