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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas
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College President Salaries Increase

November 16, 2004

Fifty-nine college presidents now earn $500,000 or more annually, according to a recent survey of college and university CEOs byThe Chronicle of Higher Education. Of 591 independent college presidents surveyed, 42 earned a half-million dollars or more in 2004, as did 17 of the 131 public college leaders surveyed. Those numbers represent increases of 56 percent and 41 percent respectively from the previous year.

The increase in compensation is due in large part to the rise in pay at for-profit companies, from which many college and university board members hail. In addition, salaries of college presidents are increasingly supplemented by private funds, according toThe Chronicle.

Median salary levels remain noticeably lower than the top end of the survey scale. The median salary for public university presidents is $328,400 in 2004, and about one third of independent university presidents earned between $200,000 and $300,000 during the last fiscal year.

More information is available at The Chronicle’s Web site.