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How Much Do College Presidents and UC Chancellors Make?

Recent Chronicle of Higher Education Report Breaks Down Salaries


Forty-two private college presidents in the country made more than $1 million in 2011, according to a study released last week by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which included base pay, bonuses, and housing and transportation allowances for 500 private colleges in the nation. On the lower end of the overall pay survey — but clocking in as the seventh highest-paid president in his peer group — was Westmont College President Gayle Beebe, who makes $318,445 annually. Many of the top paid heads of schools are stationed on the East Coast and Midwest, except for the USC’s president, who made nearly $1.4 million in 2011 and ranked 13th overall.

Unsurprisingly, public school chiefs earn less than the top dogs at most private colleges. For the 20 years that UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang has headed the university, he’s been a bargain for the school compared to his counterparts at most other UC campuses. With a yearly salary of $323,916, Yang makes considerably less than the chancellors at Berkeley and UCLA, who earn roughly $445,000 and $424,000, respectively. UC chancellors at campuses in Irvine and Davis also make more than Yang, earning just over $400,000 each year, according to an annual report on the total cash compensation for executives released by the Office of the President for the calendar year 2012. Chancellors at Santa Cruz and Merced earn comparable salaries to Yang’s. Physicians and senior administrators at medical centers and head coaches are the highest paid employees in the UC system, but those salaries are inflated by grants and endowments and not fully derived from state funds.

The UC report states faculty and staff salaries “lag significantly” behind market levels. The executive compensation is less than one percent of the total payroll — $11.2 billion — and the presidents and chancellors have not received salary increases in six years. This fact, the report goes on, increases retention and hiring challenges that already exist at UC. Former UC President Mark Yudof made close to $850,000 in total pay before he was replaced by former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano, who began her position in September, will earn a base salary of $570,000, plus close to $10,000 a month for an Oakland apartment and $8,900 a year for car expenses.

City college presidents are generally paid less than four-year university chiefs, but many still earn hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. SBCC President Lori Gaskin makes $250,000 annually, with an $850 monthly allowance to cover auto and mobile phone expenses. Gaskin’s pay is comparable to area two-year schools, including the president at Allan Hancock who earns about $245,500 yearly. The president of Cuesta College, a community college in San Luis Obispo, makes about $216,000.

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