Bruininks Was Among Highest-Paid College Presidents

Robert Bruininks, past president of the University of Minnesota, earned $747,955 in compensation for the 2011 fiscal year.

Former University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks was the eighth highest-paid public university president in the nation, according to a list released this week by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Bruininks’ total compensation for fiscal 2011 was $747,955. Ranking first on the list was Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, who received almost $2 million.

In compiling the list, The Chronicle examined fiscal 2011 compensation received by 199 chief executives at 190 public universities and systems in the United States. The 2011 fiscal year for most universities, including the U of M, ended June 30 of last year.

Rounding out the top five on the list, behind Gee, were Michael McKinney of the Texas A&M University system (who earned $1.97 million), Graham Spanier of Pennsylvania State University at University Park ($1.07 million), Lee Todd Jr. of the University of Kentucky ($972,106), and Mary Sue Coleman of the University of Michigan system ($845,105). To see the full list, click here.

Bruininks’ base salary in fiscal 2011 totaled $447,955, placing him 45th among public university presidents, the Star Tribune reported. But a compensation package that rewarded him for his nearly 10-year service as president bumped him up to the top 10 in total pay.

Last June 30, Bruininks stepped down from his role as U of M president—and current President Eric Kaler took the reins on July 1.

In addition to ranking university presidents based on compensation, The Chronicle also ranked public schools based on enrollment. With 51,721 students, the U of M ranked fourth behind Ohio State University, according to the Star Tribune.