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Penn President Amy Gutmann was the second-highest-paid Ivy League campus head in 2011, jumping up one spot on the annual Ivy compensation rankings.

Gutmann’s $2,091,764 compensation package in 2011, the latest available, was second to Columbia University’s Lee Bollinger, who earned $2,327,344 during that time. For the past several years, Gutmann has been the third-highest-paid Ivy League president, behind Bollinger and Yale University’s Richard Levin.

Levin, who stepped down from the Yale presidency earlier this year, made $1,652,543 in 2011, according to tax filings.

Gutmann’s 2011 salary, the first time her compensation has been more than $2 million, marks a 43-percent bump from the $1,462,742 she earned in 2010. Only Ruth Simmons, Brown University’s former president, saw a larger year-to-year compensation increase — of nearly 50 percent — than Gutmann did in 2011.

Related: Gutmann salary passes $2 million mark

On the whole, there were few surprises in this year’s Ivy compensation trends. While presidents were the highest-paid administrators at smaller institutions like Brown and Dartmouth College, the top-paid employees at universities with large medical schools and hospitals — for example, Cornell University and Penn — came from within the medical community. Ralph Muller, CEO of Penn’s health system, earned $3,429,240 million in 2011, the largest package at the University. Zev Rosenwaks, a professor and physician at Weill Cornell Medical College, was the top-paid Cornell employee, collecting $4,549,372.

At the four Ivies with the largest endowments — Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia universities — the top-paid employees came from within the investment office. David Swensen, Yale’s chief investment officer, made $2,971,780 in 2011, and Andrew Golden, who manages Princeton’s endowment, earned $2,653,578.

Jane Mendillo, who manages Harvard’s endowment, took in $5,323,753 in 2011, far outpacing the $899,734 that Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s president, earned during that time. Several of Mendillo’s colleagues in the Harvard Management Company, the university’s investment arm, earned more than Mendillo in 2011.

The salary gap between presidents and investment managers at Harvard and Princeton — consistently rated the top two institutions in the nation by U.S. News and World Report — has grown considerably in recent years.

Kristin Gilbertson, Penn’s former chief investment officer, made $1,554,344 in 2011, a year in which the University’s portfolio produced an investment return of 18.6 percent.

Related: Penn leads in endowment returns across Ivies, peers

Mark Borges, a principal at Compensia, Inc., a compensation consulting firm, said it is often necessary for institutions with large endowments to pay their investment chiefs far more than academic administrators, given what investors could be collecting in the private sector.

“The academic environment is a fairly unique setting, and not all of the experiences that apply in the private sector translate in the same fashion to the academic world,” Borges said. “The fact that these individuals are working in an academic setting means they’re probably taking a bit of a pay cut, but for them it’s probably a fair trade-off in terms of prestige.”


In the 2011-12 academic year, the average full-time professor in the Ivy League made $179,075, according to American Association of University Professors data. The average Ivy presidential salary during the 2011 calendar year was $1,372,722, more than seven times greater than what the average professor made in 2011-12.

Presidential compensation in 2011 rose at seven of the eight Ivies. Only Jim Yong Kim, the former president of Dartmouth College, saw his salary drop. Kim’s compensation in 2011 was $917,625, a 15.4 percent decrease from the $1,084,885 he made in 2010. Between the 2008 and 2009 calendar years, Gutmann’s salary dropped 3.4 percent — the only time throughout her presidency that her compensation has decreased.

Gutmann’s salary, though substantial, is not among the top 10 of the highest-paid private college presidents nationwide. In 2010, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education report on private college presidential compensation, Gutmann was the 12th-highest-paid private university president in the nation.

A report on 2011 compensation is due out in the next several months. That report, said Paul Dorf, managing director of Compensation Resources, Inc., will likely show substantial compensation increases across the board.

As more colleges presidents take in multimillion-dollar salaries, Dorf said, it will be increasingly important for universities to explain the factors behind those compensation bumps.

“The powers that be have a responsibility to explain on a rational basis why salaries are going up so much,” he said. “If you’re going to have such a large change, then you owe it to your potential critics and stakeholders to be clear about the reasoning behind it.”

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