Survey lists highest-paid college presidents Former Hopkins chief places second at $631,063


When Franklyn G. Jenifer resigned as president of Howard University in June 1994 to accept the presidency of the University of Texas at Dallas, he received $676,980 in severance pay, $113,818 in salary and $9,520 in benefits. The total of $800,318 made him the highest-paid college president in the nation that year, according to a survey of private colleges and universities conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The 22-page survey of pay and benefits is based on data gathered from federal tax returns filed by 479 of the nation's leading institutions of higher learning. It will appear in Friday's Chronicle.

Scott Jaschik, deputy managing editor of the weekly newspaper, said that Form 990, the Internal Revenue Service form used in the study, "might not provide a complete picture of compensation at private colleges -- some institutions may have found ways to disguise parts of the compensation they give their chief executive officers -- but these forms are the best source of information available."

The tax returns studied were for the most recent year available.

What made Jenifer's compensation striking, the Chronicle reported, is that five months after his departure, Howard laid off some 400 employees, seeking to close a $6.9 million budgetary shortfall.

Alan Hermesch, a spokesman for the Washington university, said, "The severance paid to Dr. Jenifer resulted from an employment agreement entered into prior to his becoming president on April 1, 1990."

Hermesch said he could not discuss the matter further because personnel matters were kept confidential.

Jenifer could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman at the University of Texas said he would not discuss his departure from Howard.

Special payments propelled two other presidents into the ranks of the most highly compensated. William C. Richardson, former president of the Johns Hopkins University, received a bonus of $250,000, which raised his total compensation to $631,063 for 1994-1995, making him the second-highest-paid president.

Gerhard Casper was fourth on the list, with his total compensation at Stanford University at $527,533. Stanford had reimbursed him for the capital-gains taxes he paid after selling the house he had owned while provost at the University of Chicago.

John R. Silber, Boston University's president, was the third-highest-paid, with compensation of $400,000 and benefits of $165,018. He was the only president to be among the top five recipients two years in a row, according to the Chronicle's survey. Fifth on the new list, at $390,252 in compensation and $93,168 in benefits, was D. Walter Cohen, chancellor of the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University, now Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, in Philadelphia.

Peter Diamandopoulos, the embattled president of Adelphi University on Long Island, has fallen from second to seventh on the list of highest-paid college presidents.

He was paid $417,818 in 1994-1995 -- $332,340 in compensation and $85,478 in benefits. The previous year, he received $321,585 HTC in compensation and $202,051 in benefits, for a total of $523,636, second only to the amount received by Silber that year.

Revelations about Diamandopoulos' pay and perquisites at a time when enrollment drops were forcing Adelphi to retrench angered many faculty members and gave rise this year to a complaint, filed with the New York state board of regents, seeking to remove the university's board of trustees, whose members back Diamandopoulos.

The Chronicle survey also found that the average compensation and benefits to presidents of research universities was $322,936. At doctoral institutions, the figure was $177,991; at master's institutions, $154,707, and at baccalaureate colleges, $164,114.

Nine presidents earned more than $400,000 in salary and benefits for the year, the study found. Another 25 earned more than $300,000. Most of the high-paid officials were at research or doctoral institutions.

In compensation alone, the top earner, at $457,022, was Joe B. Wyatt, president of Vanderbilt University. His pay included $25,000 put into a deferred compensation trust.

Pub Date: 10/13/96

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