Freedman's salary ranks 10th

by Joseph C. Scott | 10/27/97 6:00am

College President James O. Freedman earned $397,027 in wages and benefits in 1995-96, making him the 10th best paid college president in the country, an education publication reported this week.

Freedman earned $318,000 in pay and $79,026 in benefits, like medical and insurance costs and his pension, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported, based on documents obtained from the Internal Revenue Service.

Freedman's large salary is "largely a reflection of our judgment of his outstanding performance," said Stephen Bosworth, the chairman of the Board of Trustees. Freedman's seniority is also a factor in setting his salary. The Trustees give him a small raise every year, but after 10 years the increases add up.

College presidents are paid quite well because of the difficulties of the position. "It's a very hard job," Bosworth said. In addition to serving as chief executive of a huge institution, presidents must involve themselves in a school's academic life as well as lead fundraising efforts.

The top-paid President of 1995-96 was John Curry of Northeastern University in Boston. Curry retired in June of 1996, receiving a salary of nearly $1 million, including a retirement compensation package of $690,000.

The second-ranked president is Joe B. Wyatt, chancellor of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, who earned $479,072 with benefits.

Third in the rankings was Judith S. Rodin of the University of Pennsylvania. Her compensation in 1995-96 was $375,000 and her benefits $78,029, for total of $453,029.

Wake Forest University's Thomas K. Hearn was the fourth-highest-paid, with a total of $447,748. Number five was L. Jay Oliva, president of New York University, whose pay and benefits totaled $426,612.

Richard C. Levin of Yale University ranked sixth with a compensation of $424,295 for 1995-96.

Former president of Adelphi University Peter Diamandopoulos ranked at number seven with a total of $421,070. However, he was fired last February after the New York State Board of Regents ruled his compensation and benefits excessive.

Eighth in the rankings was James M. Shuart of Hofstra University, who earned a total of $411,922. Columbia's George Rupp was paid $403,457.