Boschini ranks No. 30 on highest-paid private college leaders list

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    Chancellor Victor Boschini’s total compensation put him at No. 30 in a survey that listed 30 of the highest-paid private college leaders, released last Sunday by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Boschini’s total compensation was $1,005,814, according to the survey.

    Boschini said his position in the survey wasn’t something he would think about.

    “I’m just happy for any support anybody at TCU is willing to give me financially, emotionally or spiritually,” he said.

    The survey was based on a review of federal tax documents from 448 private college presidents. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that top earners were mainly made up of presidents who received large payouts when they stepped down.

    Boschini’s base pay, $537,439, was similar to Southern Methodist University’s president, R. Gerald Turner, who ranked No. 3 with a base pay of $534,866.

    However Boschini’s total compensation package dropped him to No. 30 among college chief executives, according to tax forms submitted by the universities.

    A portion of the total compensation figure for SMU was owed to a cashed out life-insurance policy held by Turner, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    J. Luther King Jr., chairman of TCU’s Board of Trustees, said Boschini’s compensation package should look similar to Turner’s in the next reports because inflation aspects, such as Turner’s life-insurance policy, won’t be a factor.

    King said he was a proponent of compensation based on achievement.

    “I’m big on pay for performance, and when you perform as well as he’s done at such a high level, then he should be compensated at a high level,” he said.

    Another reason Boschini ranked lower than top-paying institutions was because of the deferred compensation other executives received.

    Deferred compensation allows for a portion of an employee’s income to be paid out at a date after which that income is actually earned, according to investorwords.com. Some examples include pensions, retirement plans, and stock options.

    The survey’s top paid college chief executive, former Trinity University President John R. Brazil, received more the $2 million in payout and interest on deferred compensation, according to tax forms.

    Senior strategic communications major Aly Pollard said she was surprised by Boschini’s total compensation. Pollard said she thought the chancellor’s salary would be higher because of the high caliber of students, campus appearance, tuition amount and the high economic status in which most students at the university live.

    Freshman journalism major Matt Greer said he wasn’t surprised by Boschini’s salary because of the university’s popularity and the chancellor’s position in the school.

    “As long as you’re doing a good job, any salary you get is reasonable,” he said.

    Freshman psychology major Katherine Rodriguez said she thought the chancellor’s salary was a reflection of how much work he was doing.

    “I think his merits should constitute [his salary],” she said.

    Boschini said his top priority was satisfying students, faculty and staff.

    “I hope people think that I work hard and that I work hard every day, and I think I always try to make students the top priority,” he said.

    J. Luther King Jr., is chairman of a subcommittee of the executive committee that annually reviews the chancellor’s performance and compensation package. The subcommittee, comprised of five trustees, makes a recommendation to the executive committee about what the chancellor’s compensation package should be, King said.

    King said the subcommittee considers the following when determining Chancellor Boschini’s compensation package:

    • Overall performance
    • Goals for the academic year
    • Progress toward those goals
    • Market data to compare compensation packages at similar universities.

    The top 10 college chief executive earning over $1 million in total compensation in 2008 were:

    • Bernard Lander at Touro College in New York with $4,786,830
    • John R. Brazil at Trinity University in Texas with $2,777,653
    • R. Gerald Turner at Southern Methodist University in Texas with $2,774,000
    • Nicholas S. Zeppos at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee with $2,407,588
    • Steven B. Sample at University of Southern California in California with $1,913,927
    • John L. Lahey at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with $1,845,427
    • Lee C. Bollinger at Columbia University in New York with $1,753,984
    • Shirley Ann Jackson at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York with $1,655,630
    • Constantine N. Papadakis at Drexel University in Pennsylvania with $1,626,092
    • Steadman Upham at University of Tulsa in Oklahoma with $1,622,229