Compensating the President: Executive Salaries at Public Black Colleges and Universities

Article excerpt

Diverse recently conducted a survey to review the P compensation and salary packages of presidents at public and private historically Black colleges and universities. However, this column will only focus on the public institutions due to the low response rate of the private HBCUs.

Thirty-two of the 40 public HBCUs responded to the survey, a statistically significant 80 percent. The review contains data on both base and total compensation. Base compensation is defined as the total public funds that the president received in 2006-2007. Total compensation, on the other hand, includes car allowance, housing allowance, club fees and any other benefits. In such cases where universities provided a house or car, Diverse did not assess the value of these items, and, therefore, were not factored into total compensation figures.

The survey was administered using Zarca Survey Tool and was sent to the human resource departments and president's offices of the HBCUs last fall.

Median and Average Income

How do HBCU presidential salaries compare to their counterparts at traditionally White institutions?

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education's recent survey, almost a quarter of the 183 public, four-year institutions that responded paid their presidents more than $500,000 in base compensation. However, that survey included only two HBCUs. No public, four-year HBCU president earned more than $360,000 in base compensation, according to our survey. The highest-paid HBCU president is H. Patrick Swygert of Howard University, which is private. His base salary is $476,395.

The Chronicle reported that the median compensation for presidents at public colleges and universities reached $374,846, well above the median compensation of $189,139 for a public HBCU president. The average base salary for a public HBCU president is $196,362.

Breaking Down Base Salaries

Based on the Chronicle's survey, the highest-paid presidents at public, traditionally White institutions, or TWIs, are:

* Dr. …


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