ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

93 Public College Presidents Make More Than President Obama

Huffington Post
July 3, 2014 by Tyler Kingkade and Nina Friend

Nearly 100 public college presidents and chancellors made more money in 2013 than President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

A review by The Huffington Post of the annual report from The Chronicle of Higher Education showed that the heads of 93 colleges made more than the Obamas' reported total income of $503,183 for the year.

Nine public university presidents, out of that group of 93, made more than $1 million in 2013.

The Obamas' 2013 income represents a fall-off from 2012, when the first family reported earning $608,611. Yet even compared to that higher figure, 54 colleges and chancellors still made more money in 2013 than the Obamas did in 2012.

Colleges have been on the defensive on presidential salaries since the Chronicle's report was released in May, around the same time as research from the Institute for Policy Studies showing that many of the state schools with the richest presidents had students who were collecting more debt than the average public university graduate.

Take the University of Michigan, for example. In a May letter to the IPS, shared with The Huffington Post, the school argued in defense of UM President Mary Sue Coleman's pay. Coleman collected $603,357 in base salary in 2013, but $1,037,357 in total compensation. The IPS put Michigan on its list of "Most Unequal Public Universities," noting that student debt at UM rose 18 percent between summer 2006 and summer 2012, with the average graduate carrying $27,815 upon receiving his or her degree.

"As leader of the University of Michigan, our president is responsible for three campuses, a $2.5 billion Health System and the largest research portfolio among public institutions in the United States," the university wrote in its letter to the IPS. "Her compensation is commensurate with her position in a highly complex organization."

But critics argue that the president of the United States runs something much more complex on a base salary of $400,000.

This disparity was highlighted prior to the Chronicle and IPS analyses. In April, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni released a report pointing out that at least 49 schools had paid their chief executives more than $400,000 in 2012.

“The American people are directing millions of dollars to these universities and the return on investment seems too often to be lower academic standards, wasteful spending, and plenty of student debt," Anne Neal, ACTA president, said at the time of the report's release.

Meanwhile, a majority of people graduating from public colleges are carrying student debt, often in excess of $26,000.

Coleman retired from the University of Michigan this year. Her replacement, Mark Schlissel, will make a base salary of $750,000, as well as receiving a $20,000 annual retirement fund, a $100,000 annual retention bonus, and a free house, driver, car and allowance, according to The Ann Arbor News.

Below are the names and salaries of the 93 public college presidents who earned more in 2013 than the Obama family (original includes photos):

  1. E. Gordon Gee - $6,057,615 - Ohio State University
  2. R. Bowen Loftin - $1,636,274 - Texas A&M University (College Station)
  3. Hamid A. Shirvani - $1,311,095 - North Dakota University System
  4. Michael F. Adams - $1,295,954 - University of Georgia
  5. Renu Khator - $1,266,000 - University of Houston
  6. Sally K. Mason - $1,139,705 - University of Iowa
  7. Michael A. McRobbie - $1,111,924 - Indiana University
  8. V. Gordon Moulton - $1,072,121 - University of South Alabama
  9. Mary Sue Coleman - $1,037,357 - University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
  10. Mark Yudof - $857,085 - University of California System
  11. Ray L. Watts - $853,464 - University of Alabama (Birmingham)
  12. Charles W. Steger - $836,886 - Virginia Tech
  13. Francisco G. Cigarroa - $815,833 - University of Texas System
  14. John C. Hitt - $795,819 - University of Central Florida
  15. David E. Daniel - $793,265 - University of Texas (Dallas)
  16. James P. Clements - $790,300 - West Virginia University
  17. G.P. (Bud) Peterson - $777, 841 - Georgia Institute of Technology
  18. John M. Dunn - $776,062 - Western Michigan University
  19. Michael K. Young - $770,000 - University of Washington
  20. Patrick T. Harker - $767,285 - University of Delaware
  21. Michael Rao - $736,284 - Virginia Commonwealth University
  22. Jay Gogue - $733,850 - Auburn University
  23. William C. Powers - $731,638 - University of Texas (Austin)
  24. Teresa A. Sullivan - $731,537 - University of Virginia
  25. Robert E. Witt - $725,000 - University of Alabama System
  26. Bernard J. Machen - $720,594 - University of Florida
  27. Eric Kaler - $693,150 - University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
  28. Judy Genshaft - $691,900 - University of South Florida
  29. Satish K. Tripathi - $681,139 - University at Buffalo
  30. Kent R. Hance - $677,115 - Texas Tech University
  31. Michael M. Crowe - $674,200 - Arizona State University (Tempe)
  32. John Sharp - $673,300 - Texas A&M University System
  33. Barbara Couture - $672,716 - New Mexico State University
  34. Lou Anna K. Simon - $672,000 - Michigan State University
  35. Michael B. McCall - $669,463 - Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  36. Ronald M. Berkman - $667,500 - Cleveland State University
  37. Edward J. Ray - $666,913 - Oregon State University
  38. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. - $664,855 - State University of New York (Stony Brook)
  39. Anthony Frank - $658,890 - Colorado State University
  40. Judy Bonner - $655,000 - University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa)
  41. David W. Pershing - $654,579 - University of Utah
  42. Elson S. Floyd - $650,000 - Washington State University
  43. Mark A. Nordenberg - $649,600 - University of Pittsburgh
  44. David R. Hopkins - $646,311 - Write State University
  45. Phyllis Wise - $641,392 - University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
  46. Lestor A. Lefton - $635,843 - Kent State University
  47. Harris Pastides - $631,790 - University of South Carolina (Columbia)
  48. Eli Capilouto - $625,000 - University of Kentucky
  49. James R. Ramsey - $625,000 - University of Louisville
  50. Nancy L. Zimpher - $621,200 - State University of New York System
  51. W. Randolph Woodsen - $619,555 - North Carolina State University
  52. Rodney Erickson $618,220 - Pennsylvania State University (University Park)
  53. Brian McCall - $616,000 - Texas State University System
  54. David L. Boren - $610,903 - University of Oklahoma (Norman)
  55. Mary Ellen Mazey - $600,149 - Bowling Green State University
  56. William L. Jenkins - $600,000 - Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)
  57. David C. Hodge - $596,481 - Miami University (Ohio)
  58. Roderick J. McDavis - $596,024 - Ohio University
  59. Robert L. Caret - $592,921 - University of Massachusetts System
  60. Mark B. Rosenberg - $590,773 - Florida International University
  61. Eric J. Barron - $589,377 - Florida State University
  62. Susan Herbst - $588,000 - University of Connecticut
  63. Lloyd A. Jacobs - $585,211 - University of Toledo
  64. Thomas W. Ross - $578,363 - University of North Carolina System
  65. G. David Gearhart - $579,930 - University of Arkansas (Fayetteville)
  66. Marinus (Wim) W. Wiewel - $576,770 - Portland State University
  67. Joel S. Bloom - $566,280 - New Jersey Institute of Technology
  68. Steven Leath - $563,247 - Iowa State University
  69. Ann Weaver Hart - $560,500 - University of Arizona
  70. Angel Cabrera - $559,085 - George Mason University
  71. Mark P. Becker - $554,162 - Georgia State University
  72. Robert Barchi - $551,669 - Rutgers University (New Brunswick)
  73. Luis M. Proenza - $547,150 - University of Akron
  74. Robert A. Altenkirch - $545,000 - University of Alabama (Huntsville)
  75. Paula Allen-Meares - $540,644 - University of Illinois (Chicago)
  76. Harvey Stenger - $530,739 - Binghamton University
  77. Matthew Goldstein - $526,314 - City University of New York
  78. James B. Milliken - $523,144 - University of Nebraska System
  79. H. Holden Thorp - $512,010 - University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
  80. Michael R. Gottfredson - $521,629 - University of Oregon
  81. M.R.C. Greenwood - 509,480 - University of Hawaii System
  82. John M. Rudley - $508,619 - Texas Southern University
  83. Thomas M. Apple - $503,997 - University of Hawaii (Manoa)
  84. Stan L. Albrecht - $501,652 - Utah State University
  85. Glenn DuBois - $501,023 - Virginia Community College System
  86. William E. Kirwan - $499,800 - University System of Maryland
  87. John R. Broderick - $499,118 - Old Dominion University
  88. Michael V. Martin - $496,259 - Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)
  89. Wallace D. Loh - $492,277 - University of Maryland (College Park)
  90. Freeman Hrabowski - $491,277 - University of Maryland (Baltimore County)
  91. Joseph A. DiPietro - $486,378 - University of Tennessee System
  92. Robert G. Frank - $485,664 - University of New Mexico
  93. Jo Ann M. Gora - $484,160 - Ball State University