When it comes to salary, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler ranked 30th in the nation among public college presidents last year, according to a national survey released Sunday.
Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, ranked 122 out of a field of 227 nationwide.
The survey, by the Chronicle of Higher Education, compared the salaries and benefit packages for the leaders of more than 200 public colleges and universities.
It found that Kaler, at $610,000 a year, was well above the national average of $428,000. Rosenstone’s base pay of $380,406 put him below the average, though he received an additional $58,000 for housing, car and personal expenses.
The report found that, nationwide, the presidents of nine public colleges earned more than three quarters of a million dollars last year, and two topped the $1 million mark.
The Chronicle based its survey of salaries and benefits on reports filed by public colleges and universities with the Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service. The full report can be found at www.chronicle.com/compensation.
It found, among other things, that 80 percent of the public college presidents received housing and car allowances, and that some also received maid service and food stipends. And that they earn, on average, nearly four times the pay of a full-time professor.
It also found that, at more than half the institutions, the president was not the highest-paid person on campus.
That honor typically belonged to coaches or medical school faculty. At the U, for example, Kaler is well behind Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill (who earned $2.1 million last season) and men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino (who earns an average of $1.2 million a year).
Kaler noted that his own salary lands him “right in the middle of the Big Ten.”
“The way I look at it is, these are large, complex jobs,” he said. “It’s a $3.5 billion business, and I’m the CEO of it. I’m paid in line with people who have similar jobs.”
Last year, the Board of Regents gave Kaler a $15,250 raise and a five-year contract extension. Kaler has been president since 2011.
Nationally, the report found, the two highest highest-paid leaders in 2014 were Rodney Erickson, the former president of Penn State ($1,494,603) and R. Bowen Loftin, former president of Texas A&M ($1,128,957). The rest of the top 10 were the presidents of Ohio State, Washington State, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Texas, University of Houston, University of Delaware, Indiana University and Virginia Tech.