February 8, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 41°F


Top officials’ pay released

Editor’s Note: This article is a corrected version of an earlier version of this article that ran this morning.

Ithaca College has released its Internal Revenue Service 990 form listing the compensation of its top officers for 2008.

Because the college is a nonprofit educational organization, an annual 990 form is required to be submitted to the IRS. The form is due October 15, but the college can also request an extension for another six months, which it did, making the final reporting date April 15. There is a one-year lag between the time the information is filed and the time it is made public.

Direct comparisons of salaries between the 2008-09 and 2007-08 990 forms are unavailable because of IRS changes to the 990 form, which switched how salaries are reported, from a fiscal-year basis to calendar-year basis.

In calendar year 2008, Tom Rochon, who became president of Ithaca College July 1 of that year, received a base salary of $149,062. Rochon also received $8,455 in deferred compensation and $21,051 in nontaxable benefits, combining for total compensation of $178,568 for the final six months of the year.

Rochon’s predecessor Peggy Williams received $173,466 base salary in 2008 from Jan. 1 to June 31. In addition, she received $213,310 in deferred compensation upon leaving her position in 2008, an amount accumulated over the tenure of her presidency. In her final year as president, academic year 2007-08, she received a total salary of $308,745.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the median pay for collegiate chief executives was $436,111 in the 2008-09 academic year — up more than 2 percent from the previous year.

Carl Sgrecci, vice president of finance and administration, who oversees the form process, said it is complex, especially since the IRS is using a new form this year.

“We generally start the process after the board [of trustees] accepts our audited financial statements, which is usually in October,” he said.

Aside from the two presidents, Shelley Semmler, vice president of institutional advancement, was the highest-paid employee for the 2008 calendar year with a base salary of $177,949. Combined with other compensation and benefits, she received a total compensation of $211,933.

Provost Kathleen Rountree received a slightly lower base salary at $176,977, but with other compensation and benefits, her compensation totaled $228,143.

Sgrecci was paid a base salary of $172,596 and a total compensation of $204,241.

The 990 form also disclosed the total assets, revenue and expenditures of the college, figures which reflected the onset of the nationwide economic recession.

Rochon said even though the college had significant losses in endowment funds, the overall financial stability of the college was not affected.

“Ithaca College, like every other college and university, had significant losses to endowment investments, especially in late 2008 and early 2009,” Rochon said. “That meant we could, in ways, rely less on that accumulate endowment savings account to subsidize our current operations. However, we are so strong financially on a ongoing basis that we are simply able to reduce our reliance on endowment funds.”

The college’s total financial net assets were $329,818,187 as of May 2009. This was an decrease of $70,742,777 from June 2008, when the college had $400,560,964 in net funds.

The college received $235,730,401 in total revenue in the 2008 calendar year. Of this amount, $10 million was attained through contributions.