Boston’s Already Well-Paid University Heads Got a Raise in 2013

The rich get richer.

Photo via AP

BU President Robert A. Brown. / Photo via AP

Presidents of private colleges and universities saw a 5.6 percent raise in salary from 2012 to 2013, to a median of $436,000, according to new report from the Chronicle of Higher EducationBoston’s institutions of higher education were hardly an exception.

At the top of the Chronicle‘s ranking of 497 university heads is Columbia’s Lee C. Bollinger, the longest-serving president of an Ivy League school, who pulls down a neat $4.6 million, comprised of $1.17 million in base pay, nearly a million in incentives, along with university residence and other compensation. Thirty-two of the presidents on the Chronicle‘s list, including Boston University president Robert A. Brown, earned more than $1 million.

Brown led all Massachusetts college and university heads, placing 18th overall with $1,182,534 in total pay. That’s up from $1,164,078 in 2012, and $1,125,200 in 2011. Brown’s pay is 26.33 times the median tuition at BU, the highest rate in Massachusetts.

Northeastern University president Joseph E. Aoun is the second-highest paid president in Massachusetts, raking in $998,960 in 2013, good for 33rd on the Chronicle‘s list.

Rounding out the top 10 in total pay in Massachusetts are Frederick M. Lawrence of Brandeis University ($938,759), Drew Gilpin Faust of Harvard University ($929,584), L. Rafael Reif of MIT ($878,324), M. Lee Pelton of Emerson College ($811,448), Anthony P. Monaco of Tufts University ($795,625), Richard B. Flynn of Springfield College ($711,891), Gloria Cordes Larson of Bentley University ($691,806), and Dennis D. Berkey of Worcester Polytechnic Institute ($679,532).

Despite stern opposition from higher ed, the U.S. Department of Education made available in September an incredible amount of Treasury data on how much college students earn in the years following graduation, on a new website called College Scorecard.

BU received special mention in a piece by ProPublica using the College Scorecard data to pose the question of whether student debt is worth the trouble. Despite its staggering $1.5 billion endowment, BU’s low-income students graduate with $27,000 of federal student loan debt. Ten years after graduating, 13.5 percent of BU alums make less than the average high school graduate, including those unemployed and not looking for work.