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Fusion Center's Thome Leads MIT Officials in Total Salary

By May K. Tse
Staff Reporter

Richard J. Thome '66 of the Plasma Fusion Center is once again the highest-paid MIT employee in pay, benefits, and expense allowances, as reported on the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 for the 1994-1995 fiscal year.

Thome earned $446,731, up from $403,845 last year. As was the case last year, the reason for his unusually high pay was expenses for living abroad in Japan, not an inordinately high salary. Of his total, Thome was paid $310,635 for extra expenses.

Also repeating last year's rankings, President Charles M. Vest earned the second highest in pay and benefits at $367,544, up from $334,892 last year.

"The salaries of MIT's executive officers are determined by a salary subcommittee controlled by the executive committee of the MIT Corporation,"said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Glenn P. Strehle '58.

"The salaries of others are determined by appropriate supervisors and in coordination with salaries of MIT," Strehle said.

In addition, compensation and expenses for living overseas are also added in, as was the case for Thome. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Ronald R. Parker '63, who was also overseas in Germany, earned the third highest in pay and benefits at $334,461, of which $154,457 was for extra expenses.

The remaining highest-paid MIT employees did not hold any surprises. Walter E. Morrow '49, director of the Lincoln Laboratory, earned $286,256; Paul E. Gray '54, chairman of the MIT Corporation, earned $279,766; former Provost Mark S. Wrighton earned $279,651; Strehle himself earned $271,468; Dean of the Sloan School of Management Glen L. Urban, made $251,850; and Professor of Management Thomas L. Magnanti earned $243,550.

Wrighton is now chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis. Wrighton's predecessor, William H. Danforth, earned $147,475.

Re-engineering has no impact

Although re-engineering has affected other aspects of MIT, it "has not had a significant impact on salary policy," Strehle said.

Something else not reflected in this year's numbers is the fact that the new retirement plan was not in effect during the fiscal period that ended this year, Strehle said. "But we may see the effects of it in a few years from now," he said.

According to a recent survey published in The Chronicle for Higher Education, Vest earned more than most local college presidents. Vest topped Harvard University President Neil Rudenstine ($278,659), John A. DiBiaggio at Tufts University ($297,965), John A. Curry at Northeastern University ($293,272), and David Sargent at Suffolk University ($289,281).

However, Boston University's John R. Silber, who was last year's highest-paid college president, dropped to third overall but still managed to earn more than Vest at $565,018.

The highest-paid college president in the country was Franklyn G. Jenifer of Howard University in Washington, D.C., whose severance pay of $676,980 raised his total compensation to $800,318.

Johns Hopkins University's William C. Richardson, who received a retirement bonus of $250,000, also topped Silber at $631,063, making him the country's second highest-paid college president.

The salary rankings are based on data reported to the IRS, which The Chronicle surveyed from 479 private colleges across the country, excluding those colleges that did not have to file because of religious exemptions granted by the IRS.

Of all the colleges surveyed, nine presidents earned more than $400,000, and an additional 25 presidents (including Vest), earned more than $300,000.

The Institute ranked tenth in expenditures among private research universities, with expenditures totaling $1.183 billion, according to the Chronicle.