After four years as president of Washington’s Howard University, Franklyn Jenifer pocketed severance pay of $676,980 when he left in June 1994. With salary and benefits, it brought his year’s compensation to $800,318, more than any other U.S. college president.
Five months later, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, the university laid off 400 employees to compensate for a $6.9 million shortfall.
For a study released Saturday, the Chronicle compiled statistics on college presidents’ remuneration from federal tax returns filed by 479 of the nation’s biggest and best-known colleges. They cover pay and benefits for 1994-95.
Behind Jenifer, the study showed, was William C. Richardson, who received $631,063 as president of Johns Hopkins University including a $250,000 “final payment.” Third-ranked was John R. Silber of Boston University, compensation of $400,000 and benefits of $165,018.
The Chronicle explains that “compensation” includes salary, bonuses, severance payments and other fees. “Benefits” are deferred compensation, future severance payments and employer contributions to pension or health plans.
Others high on the list, according to the Chronicle:
Gerhard Casper was reimbursed by Stanford University for $156,643 in capital-gains taxes he paid after selling his house in Chicago, bringing his compensation to $527,533, No. 4 on the list.
D. Walter Cohen, chancellor of the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University, now known as Allegheny University of Health Sciences, was in fifth place with compensation of $390,352, benefits of $93,168.
The president of Vanderbilt University, Joe B. Wyatt, was the top earner in compensation alone, $457,022.