Penn State Presidents High on Compensation List

Check out pay for execs at Pennsylvania, Jersey, and Delaware public universities.

From left: Graham Spanier, Eric Barron, Ridney Erickson.

From left: Graham Spanier, Eric Barron, Rodney Erickson.

Penn State’s current and former presidents were the state’s best-compensated public university employees in 2014, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

PennLive reports the ranking was a result in a change to the former presidents’ deferred compensation packages:

Penn State’s decision last year to discontinue a university-sponsored life insurance program for its executives has vaulted in two former presidents to top rankings in a report on national public university executive compensation.

Former President Rodney Erickson and his predecessor Graham Spanier received compensation valued at $1.5 million and $2.3 million, respectively — figures that include the face value of the death benefits in life insurance policies that were  transferred to their ownership, according to a 2013-14 public university executive compensation report released on Sunday by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

For Spanier, that means almost $1.7 million counted among his total compensation is money he will never see, but which will be paid to his beneficiaries upon his death. For Erickson, the life insurance policy accounts for $586,267 of his total compensation.

Current PSU Prez Eric Barron received a relatively paltry $381,818 in compensation — then again, he only worked part of the year at Penn State, arriving in May from Florida State. He’s receiving a base salary of $800,000 a year.

Other regional college executives who made the rankings, first in Pennsylvania:

And in New Jersey:

And in Delaware: