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Catholic Education Daily


Wide Disparity in Catholic College Presidents’ Salaries, From $1 Million to Zero

While many Catholic college presidents are the lowest paid executives in the country, with some taking no salary at all, others have taken in close to or more than $1 million per year, according to a study by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Eleven of the top 100 highest paid chief executives at private colleges and universities across the country are from Catholic colleges, according to the study which examined Internal Revenue Service filings by the colleges in 2010.

Earning more than the presidents of MIT, Duke University, Princeton University, and Harvard University was reportedly R. Mark Sullivan, president of the College of Saint Rose in Albany, with $1,009,068 in 2010. That put him at 35th on the list of highest paid college presidents.

The College of Saint Rose is a small “progressive” Catholic college which states on its website: “Members of the Saint Rose community are committed to developing and implementing clear and fair institutional policies, standards, and practices, applied equitably and humanely.”

The small college has fewer than 3,000 undergraduate students and charges about $39,000 per year for tuition, room and board, according to its website.

Sullivan stepped down last year but remains a professor there. His base pay as president was only $297,712 in 2010, so his earnings must have included some very large benefits or deferred compensation. 

John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University (which also has the nation’s highest paid faculty among Catholic colleges), wasn’t far behind. He was ranked 41st, taking in $925,071 in 2010 with a base salary of $543,820.

The highest paid priests were Fr. Dennis Holtschneider of DePaul University, who earned $816,608 (base $498,919), and Fr. John Jenkins of the University of Notre Dame, who earned $738,399 (base $554,036).

Others on the highest paid list of college presidents include:

-         Joseph McGowan, Bellarmine University, 50th, $874,442 (base $297,651)     

 -         Charles Dougherty, Duquesne University, 79th, $675,471 (base $583,662)

-          Daniel Curran, University of Dayton, 82nd, $669,405 (base $343,569)

-          Louis Agnese, Jr., University of the Incarnate Word, 85th, $650,542 (base $418,489)

-          Arthur Kik Jr., Saint Leo University, 87th, $643,822 (base $316,167)

-          George Martin, St. Edward’s University, 99th, $612,604 (base $374,449)

-          Joseph Fink, Dominican University of California, 100th, $605,525 (base $331,500)

On the other end of the spectrum, 19 Catholic colleges had presidents earning $0. All of these were priests and religious and include the presidents of two colleges recommended in The Newman Guide: Fr. Bernard O’Connor at DeSales University and Fr. Terence Henry of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Others were presidents of Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, Creighton University, Holy Family University, Immaculata University, John Carroll University, Lewis University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Maryland, Marquette University, Rockhurst University,  St. Johns University in New York, Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Saint Louis University, Saint Mary’s College of California, University of San Francisco and Villanova University.

Presidents at another 15 Catholic colleges – again, all priests and religious – reported some compensation but $0 base salaries. Those institutions are Barry University, Cardinal Stritch University, Emmanuel College in Massachusetts, Fordham University, Georgian Court University, King’s College in Pennsylvania, La Salle University, Marywood University, Niagara University, Providence College, St. Bonaventure University, St. Catherine University, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Salve Regina University and  Stonehill College.

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.


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