See salary rankings for leaders of Big Ten universities

The University of Wisconsin-Madison recently approved to pay its next chancellor up to $522,000 a year, which would move the university from near-lowest to the middle of the pack among what other Big Ten public institutions pay their leaders.

Below is a list of what schools pay their highest officials, along with perks, when applicable. Northwestern University is private.

1. Ohio State University

President E. Gordon Gee
$834,530.04 base pay in 2011-2012 (Approved next year at nearly $860,000)
$1,992,221 in total compensation (next year will be $2.15 million, an increase in line with faculty and staff raises)
Has also expensed a number of pricey perks, such as tailgating events, parties at the president’s mansion, and limo travel.

SOURCES: Columbus DataCenter, Dayton Daily News, Chronicle of Higher Education

2. University of Minnesota

President Eric Kaler
$610,000 base salary beginning in 2011
$50,000 in retirement funds annually

SOURCE: Minnesota Public Radio

3. University of Michigan

President Mary Sue Coleman
$585.782.89 base pay in 2011-2012
Coleman’s total compensation package, however, exceeds $910,700. In addition to $175,000 in deferred compensation, a $100,000 yearly retention bonus and more than $50,000 in annual retirement pay; Coleman also gets the use of a car and U-M president’s house.

SOURCES: University of Michigan salary database,

4. Indiana University

President Michael McRobbie
$533,120 base salary
$625,000 with bonuses

SOURCES: Indianapolis Business Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education

5. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Leader: Ongoing search
Up to $522,000 base salary (current Interim Chancellor David Ward makes $437,000 and would not be affected by approved increase)
Perks include the use of a car, mandatory cost-free living in Olin House, health and retirement packages comparable to UW employees. The chancellor does not get a deferred compensation package that many other university presidents get because it’s not allowed by state law.

SOURCE: University of Wisconsin System

6. Michigan State University

President Lou Anna K. Simon
$520,000 base pay in 2011-2012
She receives a car, country club membership, lifetime health care benefits for her and her husband, complimentary sporting event and performance tickets. No bonuses.

SOURCES: Michigan State University salary database, The State News

7. Penn State University

President Rodney Erickson
$515,000 base salary
Use of university car, standard benefits.

SOURCE: The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

8. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Chancellor Phyllis Wise (incoming chancellor)
$500,000 base pay
Standard benefits, eligible for $500,000 retention bonus after five years

SOURCES: Chicago Tribune, The Daily Illini

9. University of Iowa

President Sally K. Mason
$493,272 in base salary
Total compensation is near $650,000. Mason earns a $150,000 annual deferred compensation package.

SOURCES: University of Iowa salary database, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

10. Purdue University

Leader: Outgoing President France Cordova (current Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to take over in 2013)
$475,997 base salary
Daniels’ agreed-to benefit package includes unspecified retirement contributions, use of a car, cost-free living at Westwood House. Daniels has asked for a performance-based contract.

SOURCES: Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Ind.), Chronicle of Higher Education

11. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Chancellor Harvey Perlman
$341,053 base pay

SOURCE: Kearney Hub

Northwestern University (private)

President Morton Schapiro
$1,255,653 in 2010 (no publicly available records)