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July 29, 2011

Fogel Earned Less Than Other University Heads

Dan Fogel Unremarked upon amid the upset over UVM President Dan Fogel's $411,000 compensation package is the fact that he's gotten substantially less annual pay than the heads of at least two other post-secondary schools in Vermont.

Gov. Peter Shumlin had it right when he cautioned that Fogel's take is not exceptional “because you can go to any institution of higher learning in the country and find this now.”

Well, not quite any institution of higher learning. But Shumlin's statement certainly applies to at least two Vermont institutions other than UVM: Middlebury College and Champlain College.

According to a survey for 2008-09 published last November by the Chronicle of Higher Education, both Ron Leibowitz of Middlebury and David Finney of Champlain earned more than Fogel: about $730,000 and $510,000, respectively. And depending on how Fogel's remuneration is calculated, St. Michael's College President John Neuhauser, with annual compensation of nearly $400,000, may also have earned more than the top Cat.

Fogel's total compensation for UVM's 2009-10 fiscal year was $322,563, the Chronicle reported in a survey three months ago. The total cost to UVM of employing Fogel was significantly higher: $411,599. That sum included $30,000 in accrued deferred compensation; $24,500 in contributions made on Fogel's behalf to a university retirement plan; $12,936 in car allowance; and $21,600 in housing allowance.

Fogel does pull in a lot more than Vermont State College Chancellor Timothy Donovan. His total compensation is listed by the Chronicle as $190,000 for the 2009-10 fiscal year, with the total cost of his employment to the state pegged at $212,800, which includes a $22,800 retirement contribution. Donovan also appears to get use of a car, although the Chronicle survey doesn't attach a dollar figure to that perk.

The only other Vermont higher ed chief included in available Chronicle surveys is Richard Schneider of Norwich. He made $296,017 in 2008-09, the Chronicle reported.

The $322,563 in total compensation for Fogel in '09-10 is actually below the median for college presidents, which came to $375,442 for that fiscal year, according to the Chronicle.

Fogel's package also doesn't come close to landing him on the Chronicle's list of the 10 highest-paid chief executives at public colleges in 2009-10, which bottoms out at $728,350 (total cost of employment for the head of Arizona State University at Tempe). The top 10 is led by E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University, whose total cost of employment ka-chings in at $1,818,911.

The UVM faculty union told the university's board of trustees two days ago that it should be “ashamed and embarrassed” to be paying Fogel $27,000 a month, plus benefits, after he leaves office on July 31. But Gee's monthly haul comes to $151,575.

And even the big Buckeye's swag looks like chump change compared to the $4.8 million paid in 2008 to Bernard Lander, the founder and president of New York-based Touro College, which spans the globe with a network of 29 schools. Lander, the No. 1 earner among private college executives, died in February 2010.

This is a false equivalence. Middlebury and Champlain Colleges are private institutions, accountable to no one outside their walls. UVM is a small, PUBLIC university that operates on taxpayer funds, and is therefore accountable to the taxpayers of Vermont. There is a world of difference between UVM and research behemoths such Ohio State. Besides, UVM - currently the most expensive public university in America - is running an annual budget gap of $28 million. Why does Fogel need a monthly housing allowance of $1800 when he owns a house?

The shameful thing is that his compensation will continue even after he leaves the job. So he'll be getting $27,000 per month for doing *nothing*.

In addition, when he returns as a faculty member in the English department, he will make much, much more than any other faculty member in that department.

Fogel should be selling coffee on Church Street like all the other English majors.

Tim, I resent your narrow-mindedness.

We also sell tea.

We'll be talking about this on WGDR, community radio at Goddard College tomorrow morning. Call in to WGDR Saturday morning (7/30/2011), 9 am-10:30 to discuss this and share your thoughts. (802) 454-7762. You can listen at 91.1
& 91.7 FM and online at

"operates on taxpayer funds"

Your outrage may be a little over the top.

Out of the 28 million annual budget, do you know hopw much UVM gets from the state?

the reason they can pay the pres so much is they are in the process of taking away long time employee's health benefit and freezing staff salary's. there is a big class difference now at uvm, an us and them that was never there before. what a shame. knew it was happening when the dairy bar was closed and maintenance on older buildings was put off and the davis center was built and the pres house wasn't good enough. thank god he didn't build the stadium. i think hi paid administrators and the board should be fired and we can muddle along with people that will be paid no more than 100k a year.

This article misses the point. What infuriates the UVM community is not Fogel's original base pay. It's the fact that although at a time when the university refuses to invest in faculty and ordinary staff positions, Fogel, who resigned amid scandal, was granted a fully paid leave, complete with housing allowance and other perks, for 5 months longer than originally negotiated. It's also the fact that when he does return to work, he will be earning $80,000 more than the highest paid English professor for no reason other than his relationship with the Board of Trustees.

Murphy, your point is well taken...I believe the answer is that about 14 percent of the budget comes from the state/taxpayers...much less than most other state universities, if I'm not mistaken.

It's the largest college in the state,I personally find it a little embarassing he isn't the highest paid.

Right, the students at Champlain and Middlebury colleges are paying too much.

Doubly embarrassing since their student populations are 5 times smaller than UVM.

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