Survey finds pay for private university presidents is up 10.5 percent

Catherine Garcia

It's a good time to be the president of a private university.

Since 2017, the average pay for a private university president in the United States has increased by 10.5 percent, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The Chronicle's annual survey found that 64 presidents earn more than $1 million a year, with three bringing in more than $5 million. The presidents at more than 500 schools averaged $608,000 in compensation, which includes salary, benefits, bonuses, and extra perks, and their average pay grew by 4 percent in 2016 and 9 percent in 2015. This is all happening as tuition and fees continue to rise for students.

Ronald K. Machtley, president of Rhode Island's Bryant University, was head and shoulders above his peers in 2017, receiving $6.28 million. His base salary was under $1 million, with the influx of money coming from deferred compensation deals that went into effect that year. In a statement, Bryant University told The Associated Press that Machtley "transformed Bryant from a regional college to a leading university in its field." He has been president for 24 years, and as "one of the longest serving university presidents in the nation, it's not surprising that the 2017 payment of his long-term compensation pushed him to the top."

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