UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Comparisons of deferred compensation for university leaders

– On Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the University of California's Severance Pay Program, which is effectively a deferred compensation program for chancellors and other senior executives. The article implied that this program is unique to the University of California. The report offered neither a broader context within which to understand the information provided, nor any examples of the deferred compensation paid by other universities to their executives.

While we do not have data for such programs for all executives at other universities, information about chancellors' and presidents' salaries is available. The Chronicle of Higher Education, widely recognized as the leading newsweekly covering higher education nationally, provides such a comparison for executive heads each year when it reports on presidents' and chancellors' compensation. Its comprehensive database shows that chancellors and presidents of many public and private universities report deferred compensation as part of the executives' total compensation. (Each UC chancellor and the UC president is listed the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual report.)

The most recent report in the Chronicle of Higher Education (published Nov. 18, 2005, and available on its website) shows the following for yearly deferred compensation earnings:

Among public universities:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology, G. Wayne Clough: $133,125 in deferred compensation
  • Ohio State University, Karen A. Holbrook: $100,000 in annual retention deferred compensation
  • UC Berkeley, Robert J. Birgeneau: $19,500 in deferred compensation
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Richard H. Herman: $50,000 in deferred compensation
  • University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman: $175,000 in deferred compensation and retention bonus
  • University of Virginia, John T. Casteen III: $195,000 in deferred compensation
  • University of Washington, Mark A. Emmert: $120,000 in deferred compensation

Among private universities:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Charles Vest: $150,000 in deferred compensation
  • Northwestern University, Henry S. Bienen: $75,000 in deferred compensation that has not yet vested
  • Stanford University, John L. Hennessy: Earned deferred compensation equal to 3.5 percent of his highest three-year average pay and for which he is not yet vested
  • University of Pennsylvania, Judith Rodin: $180,000 in deferred compensation
  • University of Southern California, Steven B. Sample: $46,000 in deferred compensation