Paxson, Bowen, Machtley remain top 3 highest-paid R.I. school chief executives in 2016

Updated 5:05 p.m.

PROVIDENCE – Each of the top three 2016 highest-paid Rhode Island private school executives were compensated more than $800,000 that year, with the highest being paid more than $1.3 million, according to a database of private school executive compensation figures released by the Chronicle of Higher Education Sunday.

At the top of the list, Christina H. Paxson, Brown’s president, received a total $1.3 million in pay in 2016. Her base pay was $725,074 and she received a $100,000 bonus as well as $420,280 in other pay according to the database. Paxson was one of sixty-one school presidents being paid more than $1 million for the year.

Set to retire at the close of 2018, two years ago, John J. Bowen, JWU’s chancellor, president and CEO, received a total $863,822 in pay which included $695,443 in base pay as well as a $95,000 bonus and $40,160 in other pay, as reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ronald K. Machtley, president of Bryant University, was paid a total $809,969 in 2016. Broken down, his total includes $644,842 in base pay and $74,401 in other pay. There is no bonus pay recorded for Machtley in 2016 according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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There was no change in the top three highest-paid private school chief executives from last year’s Chronicle of Higher Education findings for 2015.

Compensation for Roseanne Somerson, president of the Rhode Island School of Design and fourth-highest paid Rhode Island private school chief executive, was $508,283 in 2016. Her total included $468,597 in base pay, a $17,000 bonus and $203 in other pay.

The recently-deceased Donald J. Farish, president of Roger Williams University, was paid $486,519 in 2016. His total from that year included a base pay of $420,746. Per RWU records, the remaining $65,773 includes a housing benefit, auto allowance, medical/dental insurance and life insurance benefits.

Rev. Brian J. Shanley, president of Providence College, received the second least amount of compensation in 2016. His total pay came to $56,457, the Chronicle did not include a breakdown of his base pay, bonuses nor his other pay.

The final entry for Rhode Island in the 2016 database was Sister Jane Gerety, the exiting Salve Regina University president. In 2016, Gerety received no pay as she has taken a vow of poverty, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ledger.

New England Institute of Technology was not included in the seven Rhode Island schools listed in the recent publication.

In Bristol County, Massachusetts, Rev. John Denning, the president of Stonehill College, and Dennis Hanno, president of Wheaton College, were both included among the 43 Bay State-based chief executives listed for 2016.

With a base pay of $390,048 and $21,072 in other pay, Hanno earned $466,059 in 2016.

Denning made $30,434 in 2016. A breakdown of his total compensation was not provided.

The report included compensation figures for more than 1,400 chief executives from 2008 to 2016 who represent more than 600 private colleges and nearly 250 public university chief executives from 2010 to 2017 from across the nation.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s methodology, all individuals who served in the role of chief executives, including any interim position holders, have been included, noting any of which who served for less than one year.

Public school compensation figures are based on the institution’s fiscal year while pay for private schools is based on the calendar year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education obtained much of its information about executives’ tenure and prior employment from public records such as the school’s website, newspaper archives and university communications offices.

The organization’s public school compensation report was covered by PBN in July. University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley was the highest-paid public school chief executive for the 2016-2017 academic year at $369,200.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdeyor contact her via email,