While college educations are leaving many students with difficult debt, more and more private university presidents are millionaires.

Apr 3, 2018 · 1 min read

According to a report released yesterday by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 42 private college presidents in the US were compensated with more than $1 million each in 2011. The previous year had 36 presidents on the list. The report’s authors used data from colleges’ tax filings to arrive at these figures.

The highest-paid millionaire university president in 2011 was the University of Chicago’s Robert Zimmer. He had $3.4 million to manage, although his base salary was under $1 million. (Deferred compensation for performance adds to many presidents’ base salaries.) Some other names at the top of the list are Joseph Aoun of Northwestern University and Dennis Murray of Marist College.

And how much did the “Average Joe” university president earn? The median total compensation was $410,523. That’s about a 3% increase from compensation in 2010.

Chart of University Presidents’ Income

Meanwhile, in Ramen Noodleland…

For comparison, what does $1 million represent to college students? Add up the debts of 34 students and you get $1 million.

A study released in early December by the Project on Student Debt found that for bachelor students with school loans in 2012, debt average was $29,400. Seven in ten college seniors had loan debts looming.

The lowest student debts were seen in New Mexico and among students in the California State Universitysystem.


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