LeBlanc’s FY 2020 compensation dropped by $90,000, documents reveal

Media Credit: File Photo by Ari Golub | Staff Photographer

LeBlanc’s salary dropped from $1.45 million in FY 2019 to $1.36 million in FY 2020, according to the Form 990 – a document that tax-exempt organizations are required to submit to the Internal Revenue Service annually.

University President Thomas LeBlanc’s compensation from July 2019 through June 2020 dropped by nearly $90,000 compared to the previous fiscal year, financial disclosures reveal.

LeBlanc’s compensation dropped from $1.45 million in FY 2019 to $1.36 million in FY 2020, according to the documents. The disclosures also serve as the first public report of former Provost Brian Blake’s compensation, which totaled $180,761 from his arrival at GW in November 2019 to June 2020.

The data comes from FY 2020’s Form 990 – a document that tax-exempt organizations are required to submit to the Internal Revenue Service annually. FY 2020’s Form 990 includes information from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

University spokesperson Crystal Nosal declined to state the reason for the change in LeBlanc’s compensation from FY19 to FY20.

The document is the first to reveal information about the University’s finances since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, and Nosal said the impact of the pandemic on FY 2020 was “close to” $20 million in “foregone revenue and additional expenses.” Officials were met with a $180 million budget gap during the following fiscal year, implementing mitigation measures like an employee salary freeze and several rounds of layoffs.

LeBlanc took a 20 percent pay cut once FY 2020 ended. Other top administrators like Blake and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz also took a five percent pay cut because of the pandemic, but those changes will not be reflected until the release of the FY 2021 Form 990 next summer.

LeBlanc said at a Faculty Senate meeting in February that University leaders did not take bonuses on their salaries in FY 2020.

Officials said they hope to continue unwinding budget mitigation efforts as the year progresses and the pandemic subsides.

“As our financial situation becomes clearer and as we get closer to the start of the budget year – our fiscal year starts on July 1 – the first thing we wanted to do was to reverse the temporary measures that we had to take through the past difficult year,” LeBlanc said in April.

LeBlanc took a 3.1 percent pay cut to leave the University of Miami and become GW’s president in August of 2017, and he earned nearly $800,000 during his first 11 months at GW. His compensation increased to $1.45 million before dipping down to $1.36 million during FY 2020, according to the document.

The disclosures show that LeBlanc is one of three other top officials who earned more than $1 million last year, next to former Executive Vice President Lou Katz and Shahram Sarkani, the director of online programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Katz and Sarkani made $1.81 million and $1.17 million, respectively.

The documents also confirmed the increase in the size of GW’s endowment from $1.779 billion in FY 2019 to $1.803 billion in FY 2020.

“The endowment’s diversified portfolio helped preserve its value amid the market losses,” Nosal said in January. “In such unprecedented times, financial policies deployed to combat the economic impact of the virus fueled a rapid rebound across global markets and for the endowment throughout the balance of the year.”

GW also spent $9,491 on lobbying expenditures to influence a legislative body in FY 2020, according to the document.

“For the time period covered by the 990, GW engaged in lobbying activities with both the Virginia and District of Columbia legislative and executive branches of governments,” Nosal said in an email.

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