High Paid Presidents

The $1.5 million man: Rice University president among nation's highest paid private college leaders

The $1.5 million man: Rice University president among highest paid

5 Baker Institute 20th anniversary gala advertorial October 2013 David W. Leebron head shot
Rice University president David Leebron. Photo courtesy of Rice University

Forget aiming to become a rock star or a professional athlete. Maybe those looking for a lucrative career should aim to be top dog at a private college or university.

The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual survey of what presidents of such private institutions earn, released Sunday, shows that 36 of them made more than $1 million.

Leading the list was Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who was paid $7,143,312 in 2012, the most recent year figures are available.

The publication determined Leebron, who became Rice's seventh president in 2004, was the highest paid president of his peer group.

In seventh place is Rice University president David Leebron, with compensation of $1,522,502. LeBron's base pay was just over $795,000 (five times the average salary of a full professor at Rice), bonus pay of $42,000, nontaxable benefits of just over $90,000 and other pay of around $594,000.

The publication determined Leebron, who became Rice's seventh president in 2004, was the highest paid president of his peer group, which includes presidents of the University of Chicago, Vanderbilt, Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton, Notre Dame, Dartmouth, Cornell, Williams and Brown.

Across town, Houston Baptist University president Robert B. Sloan earned $354,735 in 2012, ranking him 284 out of 500. At the University of St. Thomas, Robert Ivany was paid $310,122, putting him 333 on the list.

Among other presidents of private universities in Texas, Texas Christian University president Victor J. Boschini Jr. earned $1,150,966 (ranking 23rd on the total list), Southern Methodist University president R. Gerald Turner earned $804,759 (58th) and Baylor University president Kenneth W. Starr earned $752,551 (70th).

In a survey earlier this year, the Chronicle of Higher Education determined that University of Houston president Renu Khator earned about $1,266,000 in 2013. She is one of the top nine highest-paid presidents of public colleges/universities who earned seven-figure salaries and was the highest-earning female college or university president in the United States, according to the American Bazaar.

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