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Fusion Center's Thome Best Paid MIT Official in 1994

By Brett Altschul

The Institute's six highest paid officials each earned over $200,000 in pay and benefits for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1994, according to Internal Revenue Service Form 990, a non-profit organization tax form available to the public.

The highest paid official was Richard J. Thome '66, director of the fusion technology and engineering division of the Plasma Fusion Center, who earned $403,845 in pay and benefits. Thome received the third-highest salary during the previous fiscal year at $266,433.

Thome's salary is inordinately high because he is currently working in Japan, where the cost of living is much higher, according to the News Office.

President Charles M. Vest was the second-highest paid official, with $334,892 in pay and benefits, which represented an increase of $16,240 over the previous fiscal year. Vest was the highest paid official last year.

Among the remaining highest paid employees were: Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Ronald R. Parker '63, director of the PFC, grossing $321,967; Professor of EECSWalter E. Morrow '49, director of the Lincoln Laboratory, earning $280,007; and Vice President and Treasurer Glenn P. Strehle '58, totalling $258,939. In addition, Vest's predecessor, Chairman of the Corporation Paul E. Gray '54 earned $247,705.

Vest's total salary was 13 percent greater than the average $295,140 for the president of a research university.

"The position of president of a major research university is very demanding of both time and energy, for both the president and the president's family," Strehle said. "As the Institute CEO, the president is both called, and on call, virtually all the time to meet the diverse management needs of the Institute."

In comparison, Stanford University's Gerhard Casper earned $364,365, the California Institute of Technology's Thomas E. Everhart earned $364,317, and Harvard University's Neil L. Rudenstine earned $278,297, according to an article in the Sept. 29 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The highest paid college president was Boston University's John R. Silber, who earned $564,020, according to the Chronicle.

The Institute ranked tenth in expenditures among private research universities, with expenditures totalling $1.2 billion, according to the Chronicle.