So big dog Ryan Brill ’10 over at Wesleying has raised an interesting question during these financially difficult times by comparing President Michael Roth‘s salary to those of presidents at some of our peer institutions. All in all, compared to the presidents of Williams, Amherst, Sarah Lawrence, Vassar, Oberlin, Middlebury and Brown, Roth’s $564,000 annual salary is the second highest. Brown’s Ruth Simmons comes in first at $636,000.

The debate in the Wesleying comments section has been lively and surprisingly civil, raising some interesting questions about Roth’s salary in relation to his predecessors and his colleagues. I dug around on, which provides the 990 tax forms for nonprofit organizations, in order to give this conversation a little more context:

In 2006, his final year at Wesleyan, President Doug Bennet earned $412,974. The next year, his first at Wes, Roth earned $564,007–a $150,00 salary hike.

The 2008 form lists the salaries for top officers and administrators. A glance:

Thomas Kannam, VP & Chief Investment Officer: $460, 610

Barbara Jan Wilson, VP President for University Relations: $260, 334

John Meerts, VP for Finance and Administration: $240, 060

Joseph Bruno, VP for Academic Affairs and Provost, $221,120

Peter Patton, Interim Dean of College: $221, 339

Justin Harmon, VP Public Affairs: $197, 244

Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, Dean of Admissions: $167,149

It should be noted that Tom Kannam and Justin Harmon no longer work at Wesleyan and that Peter Patton is no longer the Interim Dean of the College. The 2008 form does not list top faculty salaries, but the 2007 form does:

Jeanine Basinger, Chair of the Film Studies Department: $213,420

David Beveridge, University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics: $186,830

Anne duCille, Professor of English and African American Studies: $181,880

Nathanael Greene, Professor of History: $181,500

Ruth Striegel-Moore, University Professor of the Social Sciences: $180,467

Anyhow, the most interesting fact for me is that the president’s salary was raised by $150,000 when Roth arrived in 2007. Do what you like with the rest.

About Ezra Silk

I have been interested in journalism ever since I was an editor at my high school student newspaper, where I was involved in a freedom of speech controversy that was covered in the local newspaper as well as local television and radio outlets. The ACLU became involved, and the ensuing negotiations lead to a liberalization of my school's freedom of expression policy. I worked as a summer intern at the Hartford Courant after my freshman year at Wesleyan, reporting for the Avon Bureau under Bill Leukhardt and publishing over 30 stories. At the Argus I have been a news reporter, news assistant editor, news editor, features editor, editor-in-chief, executive editor, blogger, and multimedia director. I have overseen the redesign of, founding the Blargus and initiating ArgusVideo at the beginning of my time as editor-in-chief during the spring of my junior year. During my senior year, I have co-edited the Blargus with Gianna Palmer and founded Argus News Radio, a 15-minute weekly show produced by WESU 88.1 on which I conduct a weekly segment interviewing seniors about their thesis topics. I have written over 70 stories at the Argus and continue to do reporting and blogging as much as I can.
  • David Lott, ’65

    Well, that’s a lot of money but it’s a big responsibility too. If he does well, he’s worth it. If he doesn’t, a pay cut hardly makes up for the deficiency.

    I infer from the fact that the Presidential salary went up by $150,000 that an increased amount was necessary to hire him. Wesleyan surely was not Mr. Roth’s only option.

    You do get what you pay for in this world (sometimes.)

    Good luck to President Roth. May he earn and deserve numerous raises during his tenure.

  • Anonymous

    So what is the current salary for SLC’s president?

  • Estrella ’07

    This conversation is also happening on WesChat (the alumni listserv) and someone said that it was possible that the numbers for Roth salary the first year might be a little inflated because of one-time payments/benefits made to him when he first came to Wes. I also think that it had something to do with the salary he was making at CCA when he left. That’s all unconfirmed though.

  • Anonymous

    Any inside dope on why Tom Kamman got shitcanned? Must have been an interesting meeting.

  • David Lott, ’65

    “Any inside dope on why Tom Kamman got shitcanned? ”

    Well, Wesleyan’s annual financial report, usually published in October, is not out yet this year. That should tell you something.

  • Ezra Silk ’13

    Yo, Fuck the Blargus!

  • Mytheos Holt ’14

    Fuck Mytheos Holt! He smells!

    …What? Everyone else is spouting irrelevant middle school insults.

  • Anonymous

    “Well, Wesleyan’s annual financial report, usually published in October, is not out yet this year. That should tell you something.”

    Guess that’s as good a reason as any to throw your chief investment officer in front of a bus, never mind that Harvard and Stanford suffered record losses same fiscal year.

  • Terry

    The fact that he makes more money than the president of the United States absolutely disgusts me. This is a complete waste of student’s tuition.