Outgoing University President Claire E. Sterk earned almost $1.2 million in the second year of her tenure, according to Emory’s 2017 tax filings. Sterk’s compensation includes $24,300 in deferred compensation and a base salary of around $1 million, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2017 executive compensation report found.
Sterk was the 45th-highest paid private college executive that year, a jump from her No. 57 slot in 2016. Sterk’s compensation is around 23 times the annual tuition at Emory and seven times the average annual faculty salary, according to the report.
The $24,300 in deferred compensation was not a negotiated payout for Sterk, who will step down in August 2020, according to a Jan. 21 email from Assistant Vice President of Reputation Management Laura Diamond. Rather, it was established by the Emory Board of Trustees’ Committee on Executive Compensation and Trustees’ Conflict of Interest as part of a contract agreed upon by Sterk.
The Chronicle publishes an annual executive compensation report that includes the salary data of 1,400 chief executives at approximately 600 private colleges using the IRS Form 990, which details nonprofit organizations’ tax returns. The University’s tax returns are public, as it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Former University President James W. Wagner received about $750,000 in the 2017-18 tax year, which included a $718,391 base salary and $24,300 in retirement and other deferred compensation. In 2015, Wagner received $2.36 million in deferred compensation along with his base salary of $991,460, making him the second-highest paid private university executive for that year, the Wheel previously reported.
Former Emory University Vice President of Investments and Chief Investment Officer Mary Cahill received nearly $3.3 million in compensation, including almost $2 million in “other reportable compensation,” according to Form 990. Cahill retired from her post in 2017 and was replaced by Srinivas Pulavarti in July 2018. Cahill’s compensation included salary, incentive for endowment performance, severance pay and previous deferred incentive amounts, according to Diamond.
Cahill oversaw the Emory Investment Management group, which manages the “asset allocation, investment management and oversight” of Emory’s investment portfolio, according to an Emory press release.
Emory’s lobbying efforts totaled $682,877 for the 2017 fiscal year, with $169,496 listed for “direct contact with legislators, their staffs [and] government officials,” the filing reads.
“The office advocates on a wide range of issues, including higher education, health care, research and other areas of importance to Emory,” Diamond wrote. “Emory University does not make political donations.”