Report: Outgoing Bryant, JWU presidents highest-paid college execs in 2017

Bryant University campus entrance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The outgoing presidents of Bryant University and Johnson & Wales University in 2017 made the most money among college executives across the United States, according to new data compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Bryant University President Ronald Machtley topped the list, making roughly $6.2 million in 2017. Machtley, 70, announced last May he would retire at the end of the 2020 school year.

Johnson & Wales Chancellor John Bowen ranked No. 2 in the nation, making more than $5.3 million that same year. Bowen retired at the end of 2018.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports annually on the highest-paid college executives in the country based on the latest available data the universities are required to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

Both Machtley and Bowen were nowhere near the top of the list in years past.

Bryant University spokesperson Elizabeth O’Neil told Eyewitness News the reason Machtley topped the list for 2017 was because of a $5.5 million deferred-compensation plan for his tenure.

“Typically, long-term compensation is accumulated over many years of service but paid out in a lump sum,” O’Neil said. “Since President Machtley is one of the longest-serving university presidents in the nation, it’s not surprising that the 2017 payment of his long-term compensation pushed him to the top.”

O’Neil said Machtley’s final year as president does not include any additional long-term payments other than what is included in the Bryant retirement plan.

JWU Board of Trustees Chair James Hance told Eyewitness News that Bowden’s compensation package was amended during his tenure to include $4.5 million in deferred compensation.

“His compensation package was established 18 years ago by the JWU Board of Trustees and later amended, taking into account his leadership of a multi-campus system in four states, accomplishments, and many years of service to the university,” Hance said in a statement.

Other New England university presidents that made at least $1 million in 2017:

  • Former Quinnipiac University President John Lahey: $2.1 million
  • Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun: $1.6 million
  • Boston University President Robert Brown: $1.6 million
  • Yale University President Peter Salovey: $1.4 million
  • Former Bentley University President Gloria Cordes Larson: $1.36 million
  • Amherst College President Carolyn Martin: $1.36 million
  • Brown University President Christina Paxson: $1.3 million
  • Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon: $1.25 million
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif: $1.17 million
  • Former Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust: $1.17 million
  • Tufts University President Anthony Monaco: $1.1 million
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin: $1.04 million
  • Sacred Heart University President John Petillo: $1 million

This article was updated to correct the spelling of Bryant University President Ronald Machtley’s name.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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