Education News

Which Private Colleges In Texas Pay Their President The Most

In Texas, three presidents at private colleges made more than a million dollars in 2014.

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On average, a president at a private college in the country made about half a million dollars in 2014. That's up almost 9 percent from 2013.
On average, a president at a private college in the country made about half a million dollars in 2014. That's up almost 9 percent from 2013.

On average, a president at a U.S. private college made more than $530,000 in 2014, marking an almost 9 percent jump from the year before.

That's according to a new report from The Chronicle of Higher Education. It looked at tax documents and analyzed total compensation, including bonuses, reimbursements and other benefits for presidents at private colleges. It did not include presidents of public institutions.

In Texas, three presidents at private colleges made more than a million dollars in 2014.

If you were to talk to some of the board of regents at these private colleges, you'd probably hear something like this about those million dollar paychecks: “This money is going to people who are performing at a high level and they deserve to be compensated in such a way,” said Dan Bauman, who is with the Chronicle of Higher Education.

He said that colleges worry about losing their CEO to the private sector.

“Or they may leave for another institution. So these pay packages are a means of keeping someone around,” he added.

Bauman said that often, the biggest driver for the larger paychecks was something called "deferred compensation." He explained that that the college's board will put money in an investment account for the president as a carrot.

“If you stay around for a set number of years, 10 years or 20 years or whatever, at the end of those 20 years, we'll pay you out all this money we've been saving in this account. But if we fire you or you decide to leave, you won't see any of this money,” he said.

In Texas, Southern Methodist University paid its president the most – $3.3 million. That made SMU's R. Gerald Turner the third best paid president at a private college in the country.

Texas Christian University and Rice University also paid their leaders just over a million dollars.

In a statement, Rice spokesman B.J. Almond said that the Rice Board of Trustees determines the salary for President David Leebron and noted that Rice ranks as No. 15 among research universities in the United States. Leebron also serves as chair of the Association of American Universities.

Find your private college in Texas in the list below.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

  1. R. Gerald Turner, Southern Methodist University, $3,354,128
  2. Victor J. Boschini Jr., Texas Christian University, $1,324,540
  3. David W. Leebron, Rice University, $1,048,994
  4. Louis J. Agnese Jr., University of the Incarnate Word, $897,716
  5. Kenneth W. Starr, Baylor University, $895,966
  6. Gary R. Cook, Dallas Baptist University, $613,654
  7. George E. Martin, St. Edward’s University, $574,137
  8. Randy G. O’Rear, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, $539,165
  9. Dennis A. Ahlburg, Trinity University, $521,346
  10. Marjorie Hass, Austin College, $448,693
  11. Edward Burger, Southwestern University, $430,315
  12. Thomas M. Mengler, St. Mary’s University, $385,164
  13. Frederick G. Slabach, Texas Wesleyan University, $359,389
  14. Phil Schubert, Abilene Christian University, $359,163
  15. Robert B. Sloan, Houston Baptist University, $350,229
  16. Thomas W. Keefe, University of Dallas, $344,514
  17. Robert Ivany, University of St. Thomas, $321,145
  18. Lanny Hall, Hardin-Simmons University, $285,888
  19. Stuart B. Dorsey, Texas Lutheran University, $280,269
  20. Sandra Harper, McMurry University, $278,874
  21. William Ellis, Howard Payne University, $275,349
  22. Charles Timothy Summerlin, Schreiner University, $245,509
  23. Paul Armes, Wayland Baptist University, $221,996
  24. Lawrence Ressler *, East Texas Baptist University, $173,143

*Partial-year compensation

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