Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

It can pay, to be Ronald J.

Alissa Gulin//December 19, 2013

It can pay, to be Ronald J.

By Alissa Gulin

//December 19, 2013

The president of Johns Hopkins University was the only head of a private college in Maryland to earn more than $1 million in total compensation in 2011, according to data compiled and released a few days ago by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ronald J. Daniels took home $1,184,535 that year, earning him the No. 30 spot on the national list of highest-paid presidents of private colleges. Daniels, whose base pay was $859,555, was the only Maryland president to break the national Top 50.

Maryland’s second-highest paid private president was Ronald J. Volpe (why can’t my name be Ronald J?) from Hood College in Frederick — but Daniels beat him by a landslide. Volpe took home $860,790 in total compensation, which is just a hair more than Daniels’ base pay, landing him at No. 64 on the national list. Volpe’s base was $298,401.

But still, Volpe may be laughing the hardest on his way to the bank.

That’s because when the Chronicle calculated how much money the presidents made in relation to their school’s expenditures, Hood College was the most top-heavy with its dollars.

Volpe earned $21,664 per every $1 million in college expenditures, the most of any private president in Maryland and nearly four times as much as the median pay-relative-to-budget nationally, which was $5,466 per $1 million of expenses.

Hood spent a total of $39.7 million in 2011, a pittance compared to the $4.3 billion spent by Hopkins. That’s why Daniels earned only (“only”) $277 per $1 million in college expenditures, the lowest ratio on Maryland’s list and the sixth-lowest ratio on the national list (with the exception of religious institutions that pay $0 in executive compensation).

The nation’s highest paid president of a private university (based on total compensation) was Robert J. Zimmer (another R.J.!?!), of the University of Chicago, who received a total of $3,358,723 with base pay of $917,993.

Amherst College paid the highest base ($1,523,822) to its then-president, Anthony W. Marx, of any school. Marx received about $1.6 million in total compensation, which landed him at No. 11 on the list.

Be sure to read the “About these data” section at the bottom of the webpage for info about where the numbers came from and which schools were included and excluded from the list, if you’re into that kind of stuff.


Networking Calendar

Submit an entry for the business calendar