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Statement on The Chronicle’s Executive Compensation Report

A statement from Patricia Langer, Vice President of Administration and Finance, on The Chronicle’s executive compensation report:

Last week, The Chronicle of Higher Education released its annual review of executive compensation. While Macalester consistently ranks in the 115-120 range on the presidential compensation list, in the most recent update (based on 2019 data) the college ranks ninth. Because of this anomaly, I thought it would be helpful to provide context. Typically, the top schools on the list are highly variable because the reported compensation of a president often includes deferred income that has been earned over a number of years of service. This earned but deferred income inflates the total compensation during key years of their contract. This was the case in 2019 for Macalester.

If you look at the detail, you’ll see that President Rosenberg’s annual salary was on par with the salaries of other long-serving presidents at other selective liberal arts colleges. However, in 2019, his salary also included deferred compensation, which he began earning after effectively serving the college for a number of years. Upon his departure, he was eligible to receive his full deferred compensation amount plus investment earnings. As a result, in 2019, his earnings included both his annual salary plus his deferred compensation.

Offering this kind of deferred compensation is not unusual. We are proud that President Rosenberg served the college so well for so many years and that his long tenure meant the college was able to run smoothly for nearly two decades.

February 24, 2022