Chancellor Renu Khator $1.3 Million Salary: Facts About America’s Highest Paid Public University Leader

Chancellor Renu Khator $1.3 Million Salary: Facts About America’s Highest Paid Public University Leader
ROLL CALL OF HEROES: State of Texas Elvert Barnes / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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Do you have any idea who’s the top paid university executive in the U.S.? It’s University of Houston’s Chancellor Renu Khator, who earns a whopping $1.3 million a year.


According to the official date released by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Khator ranked first across the country as the highest paid university official. The ranking was based on the annual compensation of around 1,200 heads from 600 private institutions across the country between 2008 and 2013.

The list was later updated, comprising of 250 university executives between 2010 and 2015. The same list where Khator ranked first included latest data from state-run colleges between 2014 and 2015.

315.7% Higher Than National Median

Based on the report, the UH chancellor’s $1.3-million annual salary is 315.7 percent higher than the national median total compensation. Her basic pay, which pegged at $700,000, is 53.8 percent higher than the national figure. She also gets $200,000 per year of bonus pay and $400,000 deferred compensation pay.

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John C. Hitt of the University of Central Florida trailed behind Khator in terms of annual salary, which pegged at $748,830. University of Louisville’s James Ramsey, landed in the third spot on the list of highest paid university executive with his annual salary of $648,961.

While Khator’s high salary has raised some eyebrows, Tilman Fertitta, UH’s chairman of the boards of regents, said their chancellor’s salary it was well “appropriate” relative to her experience. Khator has been the school’s chancellor since 2008.

Salary Justified

“I can say unequivocally that Chancellor Khator’s salary is appropriate based on her stellar track record and the achievements she has helped the UH System and the University of Houston obtain,” Fertitta said in a statement as published by the Houston Chronicle.

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