e-mail. Mr. Gogue declined an interview request.
He became president at Auburn in 2007, after years of tumultuous relations between the
faculty and the two previous presidents. William I. Sauser Jr., president of Auburn’s Faculty
Senate, says Mr. Gogue has smoothed things
over with professors. His compensation “has
not been an issue among faculty as a whole,”
Mr. Sauser wrote in an e-mail. “We have the
best working relationship at present that I have
experienced since joining the faculty in 1977.”
Highest-Paid Chief Executives at Public Colleges,
COLLEGE PRESIDENTS, particularly those at public institutions, are all too aware of the political ramifi- cations of a big bump in pay. At a time when budgets are tight and
tuition is rising, they can expect some backlash when a raise makes news.
Fearing as much, Jo Ann M. Gora, president
of Ball State University, turned down a pay increase last summer.
“She did not want to be a distraction to
the challenging work ahead of us,” Hollis E.
Hughes Jr., president of the university’s Board
of Trustees, said at a board meeting, which
was covered by The Star Press, in Muncie, Ind.
“On this she was quite firm.”
Ms. Gora, who became president in 2004,
asked that her salary remain at $431,244, the
Unmentioned, however, was a deferred-compensation payout of the same amount,
which she received three weeks later. That
payout, which had accumulated over five
years, combined with other benefits to bring
her 2011-12 total compensation to $984,647.
Just four other public-college presidents in the
nation made more than that.
Both Ms. Gora and Mr. Hughes declined interview requests. Mr. Hughes, though, issued
a statement: “Dr. Gora’s compensation reflects
her performance as president,” it said. He went
on to praise her work on a strategic plan and
the university’s legislative and fund-raising
“Without question,” Mr. Hughes said, “Ball
State University is in a much better place today than it was when Dr. Gora arrived.”
Graham B. Spanier*†¹
Penn. State U. at U. Park 1
E. Gordon Gee
Ohio State U.
Alan G. Merten*
George Mason U.
Jo Ann M. Gora
Ball State U.
Mary Sue Coleman
U. of Michigan system
Charles W. Steger
is a small
Mark G. Yudof
U. of California system
Bernard J. Machen
U. of Florida
Francisco G. Cigarroa
U. of Texas System 10
* No longer in office
† Partial-year compensation
¹ These figures are derived from data disclosed by Penn State in November 2012 for Mr. Spanier’s 2011
calendar-year compensation information. Penn State declined to provide compensation data for him for the
2011-12 fiscal year.
Farewell Payout to Spanier
Made Him Priciest President
Graham B. Spanier Pennsylvania State U.
By JACK STRIPLING
GRAHAM B. SPANIER, who was fired amid scandal in 2011 as president of Pennsylvania State University, earned more money in that year than the leader of any other major
But the story did not necessarily have to end
Penn State’s Board of Trustees terminated
Mr. Spanier “without cause” for his handling of
child-sex-abuse allegations involving a former
assistant football coach. Had the board instead
fired him “for cause,” the president would very
likely have walked away with only a small fraction of the $2.9-million he received in 2011-12.
The bulk of Mr. Spanier’s earnings came from
a hefty severance package and years of accumulated deferred compensation. Deferred-compensation plans, which award executives a lump
sum after a specified number of years on the
job, are common in presidential contracts, in
part because they serve as retention incentives.
But all of that money can be wiped out with a
Such a dismissal also might have jeopardized Mr. Spanier’s continuing position as a
tenured professor at Penn State, where he earns
$600,000 a year even though he is on paid leave
and performs no university-related duties.
The Chronicle calculated Mr. Spanier’s earnings on the basis of information previously
made public by the university. Penn State officials said there was “no authorization or need”
to provide compensation figures for the 2011-12
fiscal year, which is the period from July 1, 2011,
to June 30, 2012, covered in The Chronicle’s
analysis of public-college leaders’ pay.
Because Penn State is considered a “state related” university in Pennsylvania, it is exempt
from the disclosure laws followed by most other
public colleges in the nation. Among 191 public
research institutions contacted by The Chronicle
for its annual analysis of presidential pay, Penn
State was the only university not to cooperate
fully. Its refusal this year was a deviation from
its own past practices.
In past years, the university provided compensation figures for the specific time frame
covered in The Chronicle’s analysis. This year
Penn State officials said they would release information only from the most recent calendar
year, omitting data from four key months in
2011 when Mr. Spanier received his payout.
Mr. Spanier’s $2.7-million in total compensation for 2011-12 was more than six times that of
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cHrISTOPHEr WEDDlE, cEn TrE DAIly TIMES, Mc T vIA nEWScOM