Presidents of Colleges in Connecticut Among Nation's Highest Paid, Analysis Shows

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Connecticut’s private college presidents are among the nation’s most highly paid, according to a recent report published by the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Six college presidents at private colleges in the state rank in the top 100, including one in the top 15.  Two others are just beyond the top 100, but within the top 150 out of nearly 600 compensation packages for higher education chief executives reviewed by the Chronicle.

Yale University’s compensation package for it’s chief executive ranked as the 15th most lucrative among private institutions, followed among Connecticut schools University of New Haven (52nd), Sacred Heart University (62nd), Quinnipiac University (68th), Trinity College (83rd), and Wesleyan University (87th) in the top 100.  Among the next 50 were Fairfield University (119) and Connecticut College (133).

The Chronicle’s executive-compensation review includes the latest data on more than 1,700 chief executives at more than 600 private colleges and nearly 290 public universities and systems through 2020.  The private college data is through 2019, the most recent comprehensive data available.

After 18 years at the helm of the University of New Haven, the school announced earlier this year that President Steven Kaplan will assume a new role as the university’s first chancellor and CEO.  The move is part of a two-year transition plan as Kaplan scales back his daily management duties. Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger was announced as interim president for a  two-year period, described by school officials as “fully budget neutral.”

Among public colleges, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) compensation package paid to then-President Mark Ojakian, $348,220, ranked 197th while University of Connecticut then-President Thomas Katsouleas’ $626,668 compensation package ranked 76th among public institutions.  Katsouleas resigned as UConn President a year ago after less than two years leading the institution.  A permanent successor has yet to be chosen.  Ojakian retired in 2020 and was succeeded by Terrance Cheng a year ago.

Highlights of the private schools compensation packages, as reported by the Chronicle:

15. Yale University – Peter Salovey

  • Total Compensation: $1,866,525
  • Base Pay: $1,281,400
  • Other Pay: $529,284

52. University of New Haven - Stephen Kaplan

  • Total Compensation: $1,187,580
  • Base Pay: $688,053
  •  Bonus Pay: $350,000
  • Other Pay: $110,746

62. Sacred Heart University – John Petillo

  • Total Compensation:  $1,041,096
  • Base Pay: $550,776
  • Bonus Pay: $308,766
  • Other Pay: $75,815

68. Quinnipiac University – Judy Olian

  • Total Compensation: $998,741
  • Base Pay:  $780,000
  • Bonus Pay:  $170,000
  • Other Pay: $27,561

83. Trinity College – Joanne Berger-Sweeney

  • Total Compensation:  $890,265
  • Base Pay:  $540,085
  • Other Pay:$268,110

87. Wesleyan University – Michael Roth

  • Total Compensation: $881,687
  • Base Pay: $635,339
  • Bonus Pay: $110,000
  • Other Pay: $16,573

119. Fairfield University – Mark Nemec

  • Total Compensation: $711,005
  • Base Pay: $488,807
  •  Bonus Pay: $98,160
  • Other Pay: $21,895

133. Connecticut College – Katherine Bergeron

  • Total Compensation: $680,179
  • Base Pay: $420, 628
  • Other Pay: $209,100

All individuals who served as chief executive, including interim and acting leaders, are included in the analysis, according to the Chronicle. Compensation values for all employees reflect the compensation earned from the institution (and associated foundations) across a full fiscal or calendar year.

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