Rozanski among highest-paid N.J. presidents

By Thomas Albano

Former university President Mordechai Rozanski had the fourth-highest pay in terms of total compensation out of all private college presidents in New Jersey in 2013, according to data published in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week.

Rozanski’s total compensation, which according to The Chronicle counts the president’s base pay plus bonuses, nontaxable compensation and any other compensation, was $701,433. His compensation increased 14.8 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Rozanski also ranked in the top five in base pay for New Jersey private-college presidents, placing fifth with $382,763. This was only slightly above the median for all private college presidents in the country that year, $347,789.

“[Rozanski] was a highly effective leader for Rider University, and the Board of Trustees believes his compensation was commensurate with his and the university’s many achievements in 2013, particularly given the very challenging environment,” Michael Kennedy, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement. “His compensation was composed of four categories, his base salary of $382,763, his other compensation of $240,401, his bonus of $12,500 and various other non-taxable benefits totaling $65,769.

“In addition, not included in this total was $105,414 in deferred compensation and pension contributions. While awarded in 2013, he was not eligible to receive these amounts until he served his full second contract term and retired as Rider’s president.”

The New Jersey president who led the categories of total compensation and base pay was the president of Princeton, Shirley M. Tilghman. In 2013, Rozanski also trailed a second president of Princeton, who succeeded Tilghman, and the president of Stevens Institute of Technology. Rozanski out-earned the presidents of Monmouth, Seton Hall, Drew and Georgian Court.

Rozanski was the highest out of all presidents in New Jersey’s private colleges in the categories of tuition equivalent to total compensation and compensation per million in expenses. The former president’s pay was 19.89 times greater than the tuition in 2012-13, and greater than the country’s median of 12.06 times the median tuition. Rozanski’s pay was $4,486 for every $1 million in total expenditures, slightly below the national median of $4,837 per $1 million.

“[Rozanski’s] compensation was determined by the Senior Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees and was reviewed and approved by the full board annually,” Kennedy said. “An important part of the approval process is obtaining the advice of external consultants, who conduct a comprehensive market analysis and comparison to Rider’s peer institutions across the nation. The board’s approved compensation also reflects a detailed annual assessment of the President’s performance based on pre-established goals and objectives.

“[His] reported benefits included the cost of benefits consistent with all employees, such as the cost of medical and other insurance benefits and standard Rider pension contributions. Other benefits are almost universally provided to presidents, such as use of a car and the market value of the President’s House.”

Comparing this to presidents of private institutions in Pennsylvania that year, Rozanski’s salary was higher than the presidents of institutions such as Bucknell, Carnegie Mellon and Albright.

No 2013 information on current Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo, who at the time was the president of Robert Morris University, could be found in The Chronicle past 2010. At that time, Dell’Omo ranked 12th in total compensation out of all Pennsylvania private institution presidents with $468,981.

A Chronicle section in that compares a president with others nationally, the top comparison to Dell’Omo in terms of total compensation and base pay was Rozanski.

Dell’Omo’s current Rider base salary is $475,000 with the potential for a 30 percent bonus, he told students during a forum about cutbacks on Nov. 3. He did not mention non-taxable benefits or deferred compensation.

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