Marist students, when you're paying your $44,390.00 in annual fees (including board; estimated for freshmen), just think: It'll take 60 of you to pay for Marist president Dennis Murray's compensation package! Murray's haul was ranked third richest among college presidents, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The top two earning college presidents are the University of Chicago's Robert Zimmer ($3,358,723/year) and Northeastern University's Joseph Aoun ($3,121,864). The NY Times reports, "Dr. Zimmer’s pay doubled in 2011, Dr. Aoun’s nearly tripled in the same time, and Dr. Murray’s almost quadrupled from the previous year. Although their base salaries all remained under $1 million, the top three, like many other highly paid presidents, earned much more from retirement packages, bonuses or deferred compensation."
Indeed: Marist's Murray got a huge bump thanked to deferred money. CNN explains that he got a "one-time payment of $2 million from a deferred retirement plan that had been set up in 2001. It was supposed to come due the year he retired, which he had expected to be 2011. But he decided not to leave, so he received that money while still president."
Columbia University president Lee Bollinger was fourth on the list, with $2,327,344 in total compensation while Shirley Ann Jackson, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was 9th with $1,752,642 and NYU president John Sexton was number 12, making $1,473,754 in 2011. However, Sexton leads with base pay: His 2011 base was $1,241,084 (Bollinger's was $988,668, Jackson's was $922,500 and Murray's was $431,650).