Former Cabrini College president Dr. Antoinette Iadarola joined the ranks of private college presidents across the nation whose paychecks topped $1 million last year. According to a recently published report by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Iadarola was the 11th highest-paid college president in the country, with $1.23 million in total compensation.
This was her salary for her final year as president in 2007-2008. In previous years, her salary was less, usually earning somewhere around $300,000 and $400,000 per year.
In comparison to other local private colleges, Iadarola’s salary stands out. Institutions like Haverford College and Bryn Mawr College were reported to have paid their presidents less than $500,000 each last year. The late Drexel University president, Constantine Papadakis, also made less than Iadarola last year, with a paycheck totaling nearly $900,000. Still, Cabrini officials maintain that her salary was appropriate for her contributions to the school.
“She was a 16-year president who professionalized a small college, and grew enrollment and budget. She built several buildings and renovated several others, including state-of-the-art studios and labs, the artificial turf field and the Science Education & Technology building,” Dan DiPrinzo, media relations manager for Cabrini, said.
A significant portion of Iadarola’s payment was due to deferred compensation, a delayed payment in which income is paid out after the date when it was due to be received. Deferred compensation payments can include pensions, retirement plans and stock options, among other things.
Iadarola’s deferred compensation accumulated over her 16-year tenure as president of Cabrini, and included salary for two sabbaticals to which she was entitled but did not take. Keeping this in mind, Iadarola’s actual base pay for her final year was slightly more than $400,000, putting her more closely in line with other local schools. The additional money was her deferred compensation.
Despite the reasons and answers given to the Cabrini community and local and national media outlets, some students remain skeptical as to Iadarola’s right to receive such a significant compensation.
“I think she did do a lot for Cabrini, but I also believe this is an expensive school. I want to pay for my education, not her salary. I think Cabrini should try and give some more money back to students if they can pay a president that much, especially because our economy is just a mess,” Dani Degnan, sophomore special and elementary education major, said.
Degnan vocalizes the concerns of a number of Cabrini students, who are especially taken aback by the news because of the state of the economy. It is no secret that many students are struggling to afford a college education. With the amount of students who rely on financial aid at Cabrini, some question whether Iadarola’s salary could have been distributed in other, more accommodating ways.
“Certainly the economic downturn affects all of us, students, faculty and staff. However, Dr. Iadarola’s compensation was based on 16 years as president of the College,” DiPrinzio said.