The Highest Paid College Deans in the United States

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Being a fresh two month college graduate who is bracing himself for the student loan payments to start pouring in, I have a pretty good sense for how much money is pouring into colleges. Colleges use their money on a lot of things that normally benefit the school, yet in some places, the college deans are making big bucks to stick around and as the cost to attend college continues to rise each year, so do the dean’s salaries. Let’s take a look at the highest paid college deans in the United States.

5. Lawrence S. Bacow – $2.2 Million

Lawrence S.  Bacow was formerly the dean at Tufts University up in Massachusetts. Bacow is a lawyer and economist who held the position at Tufts University for ten years from 2001 until 2011. He attended MIT and eventually went on to Harvard where he earned his degree in law and a PhD. Bacow was making $2.2 million by the end of his time at Tufts and claimed that it would be his last job.

4. Lee C. Bollinger – $2.3 Million

Bollinger is the dean at Columbia University located in Upper Manhattan New York City. He’s held the position since 2002 when he transitioned there from the University of Michigan and is now making $2.3 million with the school. He actually earned his law degree from Columbia University, so it’s no surprise to see him return to his roots, especially when they are paying him so much.

3. Dennis J. Murray – $2.6 Million 

Dennis J. Murray holds the dean position at Marist College located in Poughkeepsie, New York. Since taking up the position at Marist, the school has doubled it student amount and really expanded the college into a beautiful place to go to school, sitting right on the Hudson River waterfront.

2. Joseph E. Aoun – $3.1 Million

Joseph Aoun earned his PhD from MIT and stepped into the head position at Northeastern University back in 2006. He is only the seventh president in the school’s history and his biggest contribution to the school has been the growth of its co-op program that has now placed plenty of students into great jobs. He currently makes $3.1 million a year at Northeastern.

1. Robert J. Zimmer – $3.3 Million

Robert Zimmer is the president at the University of Chicago and just like Aoun, started back in 2006. Zimmer has really tried to move the school towards being financially feasible for both undergraduate and doctorate students because the University of Chicago is currently one of the most expensive schools in the country. He’s making $3.3 million and has brought in the largest donations ($100 mm and $300 mm) that have been very useful.

Photo by Peter Thompson/Getty Images

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