The Lone Star State pays its higher education leaders a good chunk of change, according to a new analysis.
These four Texas public university leaders — including one in Houston — were among the 15 highest-paid in the nation for the 2016-2017 school year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s latest “Executive Compensation at Private and Public Colleges” report:
• No. 3 was University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven, whose total compensation was $1,500,140 and base compensation was $1,200,000.
• No. 5 was Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, whose total compensation was $1,285,147 and base salary was $900,000.
• No. 12 was Texas A&M University at College Station President Michael Young, who earned at least $1 million.
• No. 14 was Renu Khator, who earned $913,351 in total compensation and a base salary of $704,983 as the University of Houston System chancellor and University of Houston president.
This data package analyzed information about more than 1,400 chief executives at more than 600 private colleges from 2008-15 and nearly 250 public universities and systems from 2010-17, per The Chronicle of Higher Education. On the latest lists, there were a total of 251 public colleges executives and 556 private colleges executives.
Just two years ago, Khator was ranked as the highest-paid public university leader in the country, with total compensation of $1.3 million and a base salary of $700,000 for the 2014-2015 school year. However, for 2015-2016, she dropped to No. 14, with total compensation of $850,960 and base pay of $700,000.
The highest-paid U.S. public university leader was University of Louisville former President James Ramsey, who earned $4.3 million in total compensation but just $55,703 in base pay. Most of his compensation came from $3.5 million in deferred pay. After years of controversy, Ramsey resigned in 2016 as president of the school and its foundation just 27 days into the 2017 fiscal year, per The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The publication also noted that 12 public college leaders earned $1 million or more — which includes three from Texas — during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, compared to just eight the year prior, which also included three executives from Texas. The average pay of public-college leaders, including those who served partial years, was about $490,000 in 2017, and the average among presidents serving the whole year was nearly $560,000.
Additionally, public college leaders who served full years at institutions surveyed in both 2016 and 2017 saw an average pay increase of 5 percent, per the The Chronicle of Higher Education. Yet that growth wasn’t seen in the Lone Star State. Of Texas’ 10 highest-paid public university executives, four leaders — McRaven, Sharp, Young and University of Texas at Austin President Gregory Fenves — experienced either no change or a less than 1 percent increase in total compensation.
However, one Lone Star leader who had been in his or her position for at least two full years did see a tremendous increase in pay. Carine Feyten, the chancellor and president at Texas Woman’s University, saw her total compensation rise 52 percent from $434,454 in 2015-2016 to $658,860 in 2016-2017, which put her at No. 45 out of all U.S. public university leaders.
In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents Chairman Nolan Perez said Feyten’s performance “has been extraordinary” and she “has crafted an innovative vision for the university.” Additionally, school officials told the newspaper that Feyten gave her base pay increases and bonuses to a university health and well-being initiative.
In addition to UH and Texas Woman’s University, one other Houston public school found itself on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of highest-paid public university executives list. Texas Southern University President Austin Lane was No. 128, with total compensation of $437,800 and base pay of $398,000.
Meanwhile, three executives at local private higher education intuitions were included on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 556-person list of the highest-paid private-college leaders for the 2014-2015 school year:
No. 16 was Rice University President David Leebron, who earned total compensation of $1,730,998 and base compensation of $838,000. Leebron’s total compensation increased 65 percent compared to the year prior, while his base salary increased just 2 percent.
No. 211 was Houston Baptist University President Robert Sloan, whose total and base salary was $480,417, an increase of 37 percent compared to the year prior.
No 370 was University St. Thomas President Robert Ivany, who earned total compensation of $323,127 and base pay of $274,229. Ivany’s total compensation increased 1 percent compared to the year prior, while his base salary decreased 2 percent.
Below, check out a Houston Business Journal slideshow from October that analyzed salary data from local university and colleges to see the highest-paid employees based on available data at the time. Source: HOUSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL