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December 10, 2017

Bonuses, pay deals send college executives’ salaries soaring

The San Francisco Chronicle

The highest-paid college president in the nation quadrupled his pay in a single year to $4 million thanks to a hiring deal, according to a new survey of executive compensation at private universities.

Nathan Hatch, president of Wake Forest University in North Carolina, earned slightly more than $1 million in 2014. He took home four times as much in 2015, the most recent year of data available, because a lucrative agreement kicked in — a $255,000 annual set-aside — that he would receive after 10 years on the job.

The bonus sent his pay soaring beyond that of other scholarly tycoons in the loftiest ranks of academia — including the heads of Stanford University and the Ivy League schools — and reflects a spiraling up of executive pay that critics say is rarely linked to quality. Even those who negotiate such pay packages acknowledge that there are factors at work besides merit.

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