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Head of Fusion Center and Vest Lead MIT Officials in Total Pay

By Naveen Sunkavally
Staff Reporter

Richard J. Thome '66, Head of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center in Japan, is once again the highest paid MIT employee in terms of compensation, benefits, and expense allowances, according to Internal Revenue Service Form 990 records for the 1995-96 fiscal year. Thome earned $449,931, $3,200 higher than his pay the year before.

However, as Glenn P. Strehle '58, vice president of finance and treasurer, said, "Professor Thome has been on an overseas assignment and his compensation includes benefits payments related to housing, etc." Of Thome's pay of $449,931, $305,230 was allotted for expense allowances.

President Charles M. Vest earned the second highest pay at $365,877, down $1,667 from last year. He had the highest compensation at $298,000, up $13,000 from last year.

Salaries set under guidelines

"Pay is determined by a process that begins with approval of guidelines for pay increases, mostly defined as percentage increases, for each category of MIT employees, including faculty, not covered by collective bargaining agreements," Strehle said.

The guidelines are established under the Provost's supervision and coordinated with Human Resources, the MIT Executive Committee, and then department heads, deans, and other supervisors who make recommendations for pay increases within these guidelines, Strehle said.

The highest paid officials included the following people: Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Ronald R. Parker at $314,674; Director of Lincoln Laboratory Walter E. Morrow '49 at $308,385; Deputy Treasurer and Director of Investment Alan S. Bufferd at $295,056; former Chairman of the Corporation Paul E. Gray '54 at $293,783; Strehle at $293,783; and Professor and Co-Director of the Sloan School of Management Thomas L. Magnanti at $270,060.

However, as in the case with Thome, Parker's total pay included $140,060 for living overseas in Germany.

According to a recent survey of 477 colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the average pay for the president of a research university was $333,239 last year. The highest paid president was John A. Curry of Northeastern University, whose $995,358 pay included a $690,000 retirement package.

In terms of total pay Vest topped both Harvard University President Neil R. Rudenstine ($284,568) and President of Tufts University John A. DiBiaggio ($295,522). President of Boston University John R. Silber earned more than Vest at $565,207.

MIT's total expenditures for the 1995-96 fiscal year were $1.244 billion.