NEWS: PRINCO employees earned U.’s top salaries in 2010

By JAMES EVANS
Staff Writer

The University’s 990 form for the 2010 fiscal year, submitted to the IRS in lieu of a tax return, shows that members of the Princeton University Investment Corporation received three of the top five salaries among all those paid to University employees for at least the third year running.

PRINCO President Andrew Golden topped the list with a total compensation of $1,985,391. His compensation was mainly based on his baseline compensation, amounting to $689,200, and a bonus, of $850,198. In addition, he received over $300,000 in deferred compensation.

Golden was followed by PRINCO Managing Director Jonathan Erickson who made a total of $1,432,277. He earned $542,704 in addition to a $543,194 bonus. Erickson also received almost $300,000 in deferred compensation.

The overall figures also include non-taxable benefits and “other compensation.”

According to the form submitted to the IRS return, top PRINCO employees “received incentive compensation from the University based on investment results relative to various benchmark indices, peer group performance and a discretionary factor.”

As a non-profit institution, the University is required to make publicly available its three most recent tax returns.

University President Shirley Tilghman received $902,205 in total compensation, slightly less than the $910,626 she took home in the previous fiscal year.

Continuing a recent trend, Princeton’s highest-paid employees earned substantially less than their counterparts at other schools in the Ivy League. In FY2010, Yale paid its Chief Investment Officer David Swensen $2,996,165, while Director of Investments Dean Takahashi made $2,250,268. Harvard Management Corporation CEO Jane Mendillo received $3.5 million in the same period.

Also appearing on the University’s FY2010 tax return were several other administrators and professors, including three professors who were given “bonus compensation in accordance with a voluntary incentive retirement plan offered to faculty members who reach retirement age.”

Former VP for Finance and Treasurer, Christopher McCrudden received $308,142 in base compensation and $202,444 in additional compensation. McCrudden, who stepped down after the 2010-2011 school year, also received a $190,000 severance payment as part of a “leadership transition.”

Similarly, former VP for Development Brian Mcdonald received a $400,000 severance package. McDonald is listed as a former employee in the form.

The highest paid professors in the 2010-11 school year were all given “bonus compensation” in accordance with a “voluntary retirement plan.”

Astrophysical sciences professor emeritus Ronald Davidson earned a total of $638,045. His base salary was $210,614, but his bonus compensation amounted to $379,395, not including around $30,000 in deferred compensation.

Davidson has been a member of the faculty since 1991, and served as director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory from 1991 to 1996.

Two other long-standing members of the faculty also benefited from the voluntary incentive program were fellow astrophysicist James Edward Gunn, with $602,735 in total compensation, and religion professor Peter Schafer with a total of $551,866.

Gunn and Schafer also made less in base compensation than what they received from their retirement bonus.

Gunn first joined the University in 1968, while Schafer was appointed in 1998 and has headed the Program in Judaic Studies since 2005.

According to a study conducted by Education Dive, a website that monitors education-related news and commentary, the $148,403 average salary for a full-time member of the Princeton faculty is the 10th highest in the country, trailing only Harvard in the Ivy League.

Also included in the tax document was a list of loans granted by the University to its employees. According to the filing, the University “provides home financing assistance on residential properties in the area surrounding the University to eligible employees.” The largest of these was granted to Erickson, who received a $758,398 mortgage.

Both University spokesperson Martin Mbugua and Daniel Sherman, a tax accountant in the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, declined to comment for this article.

To view the University’s full 990 form, click here.

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One thought on “NEWS: PRINCO employees earned U.’s top salaries in 2010

  1. And meanwhile, too many retired professors (at least in the humanities and social sciences) shop the canned-goods sales and struggle to survive on shrinking pensions. How about a modest one-time bonus for all faculty who served the University long and well?

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