University President Claire E. Sterk received about $1.1 million in compensation in 2016, which was her first year as president, according to Emory’s 2017 tax filings.
Sterk was the 57th-highest paid private college executive during that year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s executive compensation report.
Sterk’s total compensation adds up to about 21 times the average cost of tuition at Emory and about six times Emory’s average faculty salary, according to the report.
“The Emory University president’s compensation is consistent with that of other top university presidents in the nation, particularly those who lead major research universities,” a University statement reads.
Sterk received $759,167 in base salary, $27,231 in nontaxable pay and $230,550 in other reportable compensation, according to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filing. Sterk served as provost until Aug. 31, 2016, and the filing includes compensation from her tenures as provost and president. A total of $120,600 was set aside for deferred compensation.
Sterk’s deferred compensation award was not established through negotiations with the University but rather by the Emory Board of Trustees’ Committee on Executive Compensation and Trustees’ Conflict of Interest, according to the University statement. The board annually reviews compensation of senior leadership at the University and receives outside consultation to review Emory’s standing relative to peer institutions.
Former Emory President James W. Wagner received $2.36 million in deferred-compensation awards during his last full year as president in 2015, the Wheel previously reported.
Sterk was the 12th-highest compensated employee in the University. Wagner, who retired in August of 2016, received $1,138,491 in compensation, making him the 11th-highest compensated employee.
Correction (2/25/19 at 4:25 p.m.): A previous version of this article stated that Sterk’s salary only included her role as president. In fact, it included her roles as both provost and president. In addition, the article stated that Wagner negotiated his deferred compensation. The article was updated for clarification because the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Executive Compensation and Trustees’ Conflict of Interest is responsible for proposing contracts with University presidents.