Abare highest-paid president among peers

In Monday’s edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education (December 8, 2014) researchers evaluated the compensation received by 537 chief executives at 497 private nonprofit colleges in the United States during the 2012 calendar year; including William T. Abare Jr., president of Flagler College in St Augustine.

Dr. Abare, who has served as president of the college since 2001, previously worked at Flagler as executive vice president and dean of academic affairs.

The researchers compared data for the private nonprofit baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral institutions with the 500 largest endowments, as reported to the U.S Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Compensation components:

Base pay: Base salary plus sick pay paid by the employer and employer contributions to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan.

Bonus pay: Incentive pay and signing bonuses.

Nontaxable benefits: Health and medical benefits, life insurance, housing provided by the employer, personal legal and financial services, dependent care, adoption assistance, tuition assistance, and cafeteria plans.

Other pay: Miscellaneous pay and benefits, including severance payments, tax gross-ups (money an employer provides an employee for taxes paid on benefits), vacation leave cashed out, debt forgiveness, fellowships, employer-provided vehicles and parking, housing payments, travel, meals, moving expenses, entertainment, spending accounts, and club dues. Vested deferred compensation, meaning money set aside in previous years that was paid out to the employee in the current year, can also be included in other pay.

Not included in “total compensation”: Deferred compensation or retirement compensation set aside in the current year to be paid out in later years. Employment contracts often stipulate that this money is to be paid out after a certain number of years of service or upon a president’s retirement.

In comparison to other institutions, William T. Abare Jr. was the highest-paid president in this peer group and made $87,064 more than the second-highest-paid president of a similar institution.

The median pay for presidents in this peer group was $305,836. Although Abare’s base pay increased by $22,158 from 2011 to 2012, the research showed that his total compensation increased by $83,664 during the same period.

William T. Abare Jr. reportedly earned $487,908 in total compensation, making him the highest-paid employee at Flagler College. He made $315,223 more than the next highest-paid college employee.

Total compensation; including base pay, bonus pay, nontaxable benefits, other pay, and deferred compensation for other key employees, included:

  1. William L. Proctor, Chancellor $172,685
  2. Mark Whittaker, VP for institutional advancement, $164,405
  3. Kenneth S. Russom, Treasurer, VP Business Services, $149,144
  4. Alan Woolfolk, Dean of academic affairs, $154,538
  5. Mark Williar, VP, enrollment $146,162
  6. Joe Provenza, Director, technology services $130,588
  7. Pamela Leydon, Director, finance $118,670
  8. Mary Jane Dillon, Secretary, $94,865

Names and titles of “key employees” provided for comparison appear as they did on the colleges’ Form 990s.

Pay in Context

•William T. Abare Jr.’s base pay was 2.6 times the average salary of full professors at Flager College.

•It would take 31.8 students paying full sticker price at Flager College to pay William T. Abare Jr.’s full compensation.

•William T. Abare Jr.’s compensation was 1.07% of Flager College total expenses.

•William T. Abare Jr. earned more than 65% of other presidents in The Chronicle’s survey.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, based in Washington, D.C., is considered the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. The company employs more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents and is subscribed to by more than 64,000 academics and reports a total readership of more than 315,000. Compensation data were compiled from the Internal Revenue Service’s Form 990, which is filed by most nonprofit entities.

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