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May 29, 2014

Nordenberg’s pay is No. 43 among heads of public institutions

nordenbergChancellor Mark A. Nordenberg’s $649,600 in compensation in fiscal year 2013 ranked him No. 43 among 255 chief executives at 227 public universities and systems in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual survey.

In comparison, Nordenberg ranked No. 40 among 190 heads of public universities in the Chronicle’s FY12 survey with total compensation of $628,880. (See May 16, 2013, University Times.)

The FY13 survey, released earlier this month, included public doctoral universities as well as state college and university systems or governing boards with at least three campuses and 50,000 students in the 2011-12 academic year.

Top five nationwide

Former Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee, who left the position in June 2013, was the highest paid leader in the FY13 Chronicle survey with total compensation of $6,057,615.

Rounding out the five highest-paid among public institution leaders were: R. Bowen Loftin of Texas A&M University-College Station (total compensation of $1,636,274); Hamid A. Shirvani of North Dakota University System ($1,311,095); Michael F. Adams of the University of Georgia ($1,295,954) and Renu Khator of the University of Houston main campus ($1,266,000).

FY13 pay at Pitt

Chancellor Nordenberg’s FY13 pay, which increased 3.3 percent from the prior year, was made up of $580,000 in base pay plus $69,600 in retirement pay.

The survey noted that the chancellor’s additional benefits include a University-owned house of undisclosed value and a University-owned car valued at $31,700.

The Chronicle analysis found that Nordenberg’s total compensation for FY13 represented 0.04 percent of the University’s expenses in FY12, or $363 in pay per $1 million of Pitt’s $1.8 billion in expenses.

The chancellor’s pay was the equivalent of 39.16 students’ full tuition and fees on the Pittsburgh campus. And, according to the Chronicle, Nordenberg’s base pay of $580,000 was 4.268 times the $135,900 median salary of a full professor on the Pittsburgh campus.

Nordenberg, who became chancellor in 1995, was the longest-serving top leader among Pennsylvania institutions in the survey and eighth in seniority among 255 public institution leaders nationwide.

Freeman Hrabowsky, who became president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in April 1987, was the longest serving among public university leaders in the FY13 survey.

Presidents’ pay at other Pennsylvania publics

Of seven Pennsylvania presidents listed in the survey, Nordenberg was the highest paid.

Rodney Erickson, who became president of Penn State in 2011, had total compensation of $618,220, making him No. 2 among heads of Pennsylvania public institutions and No. 52 nationwide.

Ranking No. 3 statewide and No. 173 nationally was Neil D. Theobald, who took over as Temple University president in 2013. His total compensation was $352,021.

Former State System of Higher Education Chancellor John C. Cavenaugh, who left his post in February 2013, ranked fourth in the state and 200th in the nation, with total compensation of $313,583.

Temple’s interim president Richard M. Englert, who left the position in December 2012, ranked No. 5 in Pennsylvania and No. 204 nationwide with total compensation of $309,619.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael Driscoll was No. 6 in the state and No. 210 in the nation with total compensation of $288,101.

Peter H. Garland, who became acting chancellor of the State System of Higher Education in March 2013, ranked No. 7 in the state and No. 249 nationwide with total compensation of $103,842 for FY13.


The full public-college pay survey can be found online at

—Kimberly K. Barlow