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Few tops list of best-paid private university employees in Pacific Northwest

Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few tops the latest list of highest-paid private university employees for the Pacific Northwest region at over $1.2 million per year.

Few, who last month was named the nation's best college basketball coach for the money by Forbes magazine, earned a base salary of $950,654 in 2012, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education survey released Sunday. Other annual compensation cited in the survey included bonus pay of $186,823, deferred compensation of $21,250, non-taxable benefits of $17,574 and $73,302 in other perks.

The survey examined total compensation levels for executives and other highly paid employees at 497 private nonprofit colleges and universities nationwide during the 2012 calendar year, which was the latest year for which complete figures were available for all schools. Researchers relied primarily on publicly accessible IRS disclosures that nonprofit organizations must file to retain their tax-exempt status.

Here’s the total compensation levels cited for the Spokane-area’s two private universities:


  • Men’s basketball coach Mark Few: $1.2 million.
  • Former women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves: $438,388.
  • President Thayne McCulloh: $373,841.
  • Executive VP Earl Martin: $296,042.
  • Academic VP Patricia Killen: $280,851.
  • Athletic Director Michael Roth: $278,806.
  • Law School Dean Jane Korn: $262,417.
  • VP Finance Charles Murphy: $241,139.
  • Corp. Council Michael Casey: $239,826.
  • Senior VP Margot Stanfield: $235,511.
  • Business school Dean Clarance Barnes: $227,333.
  • Florence campus Dean John Burke: $226,812.
  • VP Joseph Poss: $212,090.

Whitworth University

  • University President Beck Taylor: $316,192.
  • VP Scott McQuilken: $234,800.
  • CFO Brian Benzel: $172,340.
  • Prof. Dennis Sterner: $146,712.
  • Library Dir. Hans Bynagle: $145,342.
  • Prof. Barbara Sanders: $143,943.
  • VP Kathlee Storm: $138,594.

University officials say some of the total annual compensation figures may have been inflated by programs that enable employee family members to attend the college without paying tuition. The value of the waived tuition, in those cases, often is added to the employee's annual compensation calculations, particularly at Whitworth.

If you want to compare how top compensation at private universities compares to public institutions, you could:

David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

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