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December 10, 2012

Pay and Benefits Rise for Private-College Heads

Median compensation for the presidents of private colleges grew to nearly $400,000 in 2010, a rise of 2.8 percent, and three dozen campus leaders earned more than $1-million, according to an analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Former Nebraska governor and senator J. Robert Kerrey was the highest-paid private-college official in 2010, the most recent year for which tax data were available, collecting just over $3-million as president of the New School in New York. The Chronicle reviewed compensation at 493 institutions with budgets of more than $50-million.

Half of the 50 best-compensated presidents led institutions that provided cash to at least some executives to cover taxes on bonuses and other benefits, a practice known as "grossing up" that has fallen out of favor in the corporate sector because of shareholder protests.