Presidents at 36 private colleges earned more than $1 million in 2009, up from 33 the previous year, according to a study by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The annual study, using data from federal tax documents, found that the median compensation — including salary and benefits — was $385,909, a 2.2 percent increase from the previous year. The median base salary increased by 2.8 percent to $294,489.
The highest-paid president in 2009 was Constantine Papadakis of Drexel University. Mr. Papadakis, who died in April that year, earned $4,912,127, most of it from life insurance and previously accrued compensation paid to his widow. His base salary was $195,726.
The next three top earners — William R. Brody of Johns Hopkins University ($3,821,886); Donald V. DeRosa of University of the Pacific ($2,357,540); and Henry S. Bienen of Northwestern University ($2,240,775) — also left their presidencies.