Penn president Gutmann's pay tops $2 million

Amy Gutmann helped the university raise $4.3 billion over five years. She is not the highest paid person at Penn.
Amy Gutmann helped the university raise $4.3 billion over five years. She is not the highest paid person at Penn.
Posted: September 01, 2013

The University of Pennsylvania sharply increased the compensation package for its president, Amy Gutmann, from $1.46 million in 2010-11 to more than $2 million in 2011-12 - a pay boost of 43 percent, according to the university's latest tax filing.

David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast and chairman of Penn's board of trustees, said in a statement that Gutmann's compensation "is very much performance driven, and speaks to the extraordinary success that she has had in recent years."

Cohen said the trustees "feel that we have the best university president in the country in Amy Gutmann and we believe her compensation should reflect that reality."

The tax information was first reported Friday by the Daily Pennsylvanian, the university's student newspaper.

Gutmann's fund-raising prowess led to the university raking in $4.3 billion during its five-year "Making History Campaign."

The goal had been $3.5 billion, which the university surpassed 16 months early. The final tally was all the more remarkable because the campaign was launched just before the country plunged into a recession.

The largest single gift was the record-breaking $225 million from Raymond G. Perelman and the late Ruth Perelman in 2011 to name the Perelman School of Medicine. The total giving, however, was broad-based with nearly 327,000 donors.

Despite her pay increase, Gutmann's compensation package still ranked third at Penn. Ralph Muller, CEO of the health system, secured the top spot with $3,429,240 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. And that was a leap from the $2,217,285 he earned the previous year.

Since Gutmann was appointed president in 2004, the university's financial-aid budget has doubled to about $181 million a year for undergraduates.

She also started a "no-loan policy," providing grants rather than loans to students with financial needs.

Under Gutmann, the university has been successful in recruiting prominent professors and has created more than 100 named professorships.

Last year, the board of trustees extended Gutmann's contract through 2019.

Among Ivy League presidents, Gutmann's compensation package has ranked third behind those of the presidents of Columbia University and Yale University, respectively.

The president of Yale stepped down earlier this year, so it is expected that Gutmann will rank second, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported.

The student newspaper quoted Cohen saying the board was determined to place the 63-year-old Gutmann's compensation in the top 10 for private university presidents.

In 2010-11, Gutmann ranked 12th among the highest-paid private university presidents, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. That drew criticism from student protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Tuition, fees, and room and board at Penn topped $56,000 last year. The university has 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students and an annual budget of more than $6 billion.


Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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