GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg received $404,014 in pay during l997-1998, according to last week’s report of university presidential salaries by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Trachtenberg said the annual list published by the trade publication is all such a bore. He said GW is not paying enormous salaries to its administrators and said other industries would consider GW salaries to be normal.
Trachtenberg said the Board of Trustees analyzes administrative pay at comparable institutions and an outside third party also participates in determining pay. He said the Trustees follow their fiduciary duty in establishing pay.
GW tends to be very conscientious about this, Trachtenberg said.
Trachtenberg was ninth on the publication’s list. Howard J. Burnett, former president at Washington and Jefferson College was first on the list, receiving $1,052,673, which included retirement compensation and monies for a one-year sabbatical leave. University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin was second on the list, receiving $529,677.
Other university presidents in the top 10 included New York University President L. Jay Oliva, Vanderbilt University President Joe B. Wyatt, Columbia University President George Rupp, and Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody.
The Chronicle compiled data by reviewing information from looking at the tax returns filed by universities. Non-profit organizations, including universities and colleges, are required to file IRS Form 990, which itemizes a variety of information, including top executive pay and the institution’s revenues and expenditures.
Trachtenberg said there are a variety of factors that determine a president’s pay, including the number of years served at the institution and whether there are medical facilities. He said the marketplace drives the salaries of employees, including the compensation of doctors.
The Chronicle reported that other top paid employees at GW include professors in the medical school and other medical officials. Robert Shesser, the department chairman of Emergency Medicine, received compensation of $412,066. GW paid former men’s basketball head coach Mike Jarvis $360,172 before he left for St. John’s University in 1998.
According to The Chronicle, the median percentage increase at colleges and universities was 4 percent. At research universities, which include GW, the median increase was 8.3 percent. Trachtenberg’s pay increased 4.9 percent from 1996-1997.
He said he turns down offers that pay more on a regular basis and said he has always wanted to be in higher education.
At some point in life, that’s not the driving force, Trachtenberg said.
He said all employees at GW are fairly compensated. Now, Trachtenberg said, he receives calls from fundraisers soliciting donations.
Trachtenberg said other university presidents, especially at public universities, receive other compensation for sitting on corporate boards of directors, which is not reported on Form 990.
This article appeared in the December 2, 1999 issue of the Hatchet.