Report on Compensation Cites President Emeritus Bottoms

Report on Compensation Cites President Emeritus Bottoms

November 2, 2009

East College shade xz.jpgNovember 2, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — The 2007-08 compensation received by Robert G. Bottoms, who was then president of DePauw University and is now president emeritus, is listed in the new issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education in its annual summary of executive pay. The total of $1.24 million, which was also the subject of a recent story in The DePauw, is noted by the Chronicle to be among the top ten salaries in higher education for that year, but, in fact, approximately two-thirds of the total is the result of deferred compensation Dr. Bottoms had earned over the years and collected at the conclusion of the 2007-08 year.

At the time of the distribution, Bottoms was completing his 30th year of service to DePauw, and his 22 years as president is the longest tenure in the University's 132-year history.

In 1988, DePauw's Board of Trustees created a deferred compensation plan, which was designed to incent the president to stay at the University. The package put aRobert G Bottoms 2007-1 Portrait.jpg percentage of Bottoms' income into a fund where it would earn interest; if the president left his post within the first 10 years of the plan's creation, monies which accumulated in the fund would have been forfeited.

Dr. Bottoms' annual compensation for 2008-09 was $448,979, with an additional benefits package totaling $56,208. It is only by adding in the deferred compensation - which, again, was accumulated over a 20 year period - that the published figure of $1.24 million is reached.

"President Bottoms' tenure was quite remarkable," says Ken Owen '82, executive director of media relations at DePauw. "The number which is published in the Chronicle is certain to jump off the page for some people, but one must bear in mind that the lion's share of those funds were accumulated over two decades."

"Over time, as the college presidency has become more demanding and the required skill set more complex, more boards of trustees are offering deferred compensation as an incentive to keep highly qualified and accomplished CEOs on campus," notes David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.