Former Temple president Theobald was fourth-highest-paid public university president in the U.S. the year he left, study says

Neil D. Theobald resigned under pressure from Temple University in July 2016 and earned $1.38 million in total compensation from the university in the 2017 fiscal year, making him the fourth-highest paid public college president in the country, according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Temple University president Neil D. Theobald resigned under pressure less than a month into the 2016-17 fiscal year, but he earned $1.38 million in compensation that year anyway, making him the fourth-highest paid public college president in the country, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The information was included in the Chronicle’s annual publication of public university presidents’ compensation, released Sunday.

The amount included his base salary of $718,303, deferred compensation of $642,918, retirement of $35,118, and other income, including housing, of $18,850, according to the Chronicle. It’s the first time the full amount of his package has been disclosed.

When Theobald and the university struck a deal for his departure in 2016, the university did not release the details. But sources familiar with the settlement told the Inquirer that Theobald would receive a year’s sabbatical at full salary — $725,000, including base pay and what would have been deferred compensation — plus benefits including health insurance.

Theobald resigned as the board of trustees was preparing to meet to vote on dismissing him. He was under fire for a shortfall in the university’s merit-scholarship budget and his dismissal of the provost. He led the North Philadelphia university for 3½ years.

In May, Theobald got a new job, as vice president of finance and administration at the University of Wyoming.

Temple had no comment on the compensation package.

Theobald was among 12 public college presidents who took home more than $1 million in fiscal 2017, according to the Chronicle. Others in the top group also got higher amounts because of deferred compensation, which presidents accrue as they serve and then collect on an agreed-upon date, often when they leave.

James R. Ramsey, of the University of Louisville, was the highest-paid president that year, earning $4.29 million, and more than $3.5 million of it was in deferred compensation, according to the Chronicle. He left the university only 27 days into the year, the Chronicle said.

Second was Jay Gogue, of Auburn University, who retired in 2017, at $1.8 million, and third was William H. McRaven, of the University of Texas System, at $1.5 million, the Chronicle said.