By Kelly Mangan and Paul Szaniawski
President Mordechai Rozanski’s total compensation surpassed $500,000 after a 25 percent pay raise in 2005-2006, according to a recent annual survey.
The pay package was composed of an annual salary of $328,000 before taxes and $174,170 worth of benefits, which included an expense account of $44,607.
“It sounds like his salary is definitely on the high end for that type of university,” said John Curtis, director of Research and Public Policy at the American Association of University Professors.
Among the presidents at master’s universities across the country, Rozanski’s compensation ranks well above the median, which was $240,360 in 2005-2006, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual compensation survey, released in November.
Nationally, only 81 presidents out of 653 private colleges and universities surveyed made more than $500,000 in total compensation for the fiscal year of 2006, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Most of the packages over $500,000 were at research institutions offering doctoral degrees.
The survey is compiled through IRS Form 990, which requires nonprofit organizations to make their tax forms available for public inspection. The 2005-2006 academic year is the most recent that has been reported.
The University’s board of trustees maintained that the president’s compensation is comparable to peer institutions.
“President Rozanski’s compensation is determined by the Senior Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees and is reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee and the full board with the advice of external consultants, who conduct a comprehensive market analysis and comparison of our peer institutions across the nation,” the board’s chair Gary Shapiro, said in a statement.
During his first year at Rider (2003-2004) the president’s total compensation, including benefits, was a little more than $334,000. In Rozanski’s second year his pay package increased by nearly $65,000. When he received his largest pay increase, published to date in 2005-2006, the figure increased to $502,170, which dwarfs presidents of most other private institutions in New Jersey.
The presidents of Monmouth, Drew and Fairleigh Dickinson universities made between about $335,000 and $375,000 in 2005-2006, according to The Chronicle. The president of Princeton University earned just $150,000 more than Rozanski. Rutgers’ president’s total compensation was just below that mark, $125,000 higher than Rider’s chief.
“What’s often argued by boards of trustees is that they have to pay these salaries because they’re competing to get the best people,” Curtis said. “We’ve been wondering why they’re competing for presidents but not for faculty.”
Nationally, full-time faculty earned an average of $67,468 at private universities that offer a master’s degree in 2005-2006. Rider’s full-timers made an average of $82,100.
“We’ve been trying to make the argument that when you look at the president you have to look at what the faculty makes,” Curtis said. “We found that the president’s salary was about three times that of a full professor. It sounds like [Rozanski’s] is four times that.”
In the decade prior to 2005-2006, presidents of private institutions that offered master’s degrees received a 35-percent total pay increase on average. Their corresponding faculty members received a 5-percent raise, according to an AAUP survey.
Most of Rozanski’s $100,000 raise that year was benefits, which rose to nearly $175,000 from $85,000. It was the largest benefits increase of any university president in New Jersey since Rozanski’s Rider debut. Compared to his peers, the president’s total benefits package stands higher than that of Princeton’s and Rutgers’ presidents.
Karns noted that 70 percent of Rozanski’s 2005-2006 benefits are not paid but are rather investments in accounts that Rider owns. These include deferred benefits like life insurance, a retirement incentive program and a deferred compensation plan. If the president leaves before his full term is up in 2013, he will not receive the deferred compensation plan. Pension makes up the other 30 percent. This type of plan is becoming increasingly common to keep presidents from leaving.
“It is a very competitive environment to hire and retain presidents,” Karns said.
Additional Reporting by Paul Mullin