Higher Education: Top 256 highest paid public college presidents 2013 Fiscal Year

May 19, 2014


See update
Posted 2018: Salaries for some of the U.S. public and private college presidents

Higher Education: Top 256 highest paid public college presidents 2013 Fiscal Year

The Chronicle of Higher Education

These data show the total compensation received in the 2013 fiscal year by 257 chief executives at 227 public universities and systems in the United States. Fiscal years typically run from July 1 to June 30, but can vary by institution.

The Chronicle surveyed institutions to collect these public data. Our analysis included all public doctoral universities in the United States and all state college and university systems or governing boards with at least three campuses and 50,000 total students in the 2011-12 academic year. This is a slightly expanded group of institutions than in prior years. Some institutions (listed below) did not respond to repeated public-records requests for compensation information and therefore are excluded from these data.

Chief executives who lead both a university system and its main campus are listed under the campus name. At some universities, more than one president served during the 2013 fiscal year. Presidents who served for only part of the year are marked with an asterisk.

Some presidents served at more than one institution during the same fiscal year. All individuals who served in the capacity of chief executive, including interim leaders, were used in the analysis. Partial-year dollar amounts are reported for presidents who did not serve for the entire year. Names and titles of the five highest-paid employees at each institution are presented as they were provided by the institutions.

Top 256 highest paid public college presidents 2013 FY
The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed institutions to collect compensation data.
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Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
College Presidents compensation

College Presidents compensation

Ohio State University

Source: The Ohio State University- Institutional Research and Planning
Ohio State University Facts
Video: Dr. E. Gordon Gee’s Top 10 Reasons for Returning to WVU

Video: Dr. E. Gordon Gee on his return to West Virginia University


Gee’s farewell from Ohio State worth $6M; now WVU chief, he says role not about the money

By Debra Erdley

West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee didn’t leave empty-handed when he retired as president of Ohio State University during the summer.

According to a survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gee collected $6,057,615 in salary, bonuses, benefits and deferred compensation from the university for the 2012-13 fiscal year, as well as a generous five-year contract to serve as president emeritus through 2018.

That package, 40 percent of which the Chronicle said came from deferred compensation, is the largest the survey ever reported for a public university president, a Chronicle spokeswoman said.

“I don’t work as a university president for the salary. Those are set by boards,” said Gee, who led the University of Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt during the past 33 years and is in his second presidency at West Virginia, where he first served from 1981-85.

“My service as a university president is truly a calling, and in the case of West Virginia University, it is a way of paying forward for the opportunities I was provided as a young president at the age of 36,” Gee said in a prepared statement.

Gee, 69, retired from Ohio State after uproar about comments he made about Catholics and the University of Notre Dame. He didn’t stay retired long.
In January 2014, he accepted a post as interim president at West Virginia. He took the post at a salary of $450,000. In March, WVU dropped the “interim” from Gee’s title.

WVU spokesman John Bolt said the university’s board of governors is in the final stages of negotiations with Gee and is expected to approve a two-year contract with a base salary of $775,000 a year this summer.

Although that is less than Gee collected at Ohio State, the figure is above the median for public university leaders, which the Chronicle calculated at $478,896.

In a letter dated March 26, officials at Ohio State congratulated Gee on his appointment at West Virginia. OSU, which agreed to pay Gee a salary, research grants and benefits as president emeritus through 2018, estimates it will pay about $4 million now that Gee accepted a permanent post at WVU.


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