How Dr. Kim’s salary compares to other schools’ presidents

By Jay Berghuis, Opinions Editor

Grace Senior

To most Columbia students, President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim’s 2016 compensation of $651,091 may seem like an astronomical amount of money, but how does his income compare to those of his peers at other colleges?

Kim’s salary was reported Dec. 10, 2018, by The Chronicle; now, The Chronicle has compiled a list of similar colleges’ highest-compensated employees to give students a comparison.


Savannah College of Art and Design

SCAD is a renowned art school located in Savannah, Georgia, with satellite campuses in Atlanta, Georgia; Hong Kong; and Lacoste, France. Paula Wallace has served as president since 2000 but is also a co-founder of the college.

President: Paula Wallace

2016 compensation: $2,309,837

Enrollment: about 14,000

Tuition: $37,130


The New School

The New School is a university centered in Manhattan, New York. It features the Parsons School of Design as well as schools focused on performing arts, music and politics. David Van Zandt has served as president since 2011.

President: David Van Zandt

2016 compensation: $1,350,948

Enrollment: 10,474

Tuition: $49,064


Emerson College

Emerson is a private college in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that focuses on arts and communication. It features several in-house publications and a student radio station. Lee Pelton has served as president since July 2011.

President: Lee Pelton

2016 compensation: $946,220

Enrollment: 3,813

Tuition: $46,852


DePaul University

DePaul is another private college that is the home to a significant film school, as well as television and radio programs. Rev. Dennis Holtschneider served as president from July 2004 through June 2017.

President: Rev. Dennis Holtschneider

2016 compensation: $892,953

Enrollment: 14,507

Tuition: $39,975


Pratt Institute

Pratt is a private, arts-focused college with its main campus in Brooklyn, New York. It is renowned for its programs in architecture, art and design. Thomas Schutte served as president for 23 years and stepped down in 2017.

President: Thomas Schutte

2015 compensation: $836,732

Enrollment: 4,829

Tuition: $51,870


California Institute of the Arts

CalArts is a private, arts-focused university in Santa Clarita, California. It features programs in art, critical studies, film/video, music, theater and dance. Steven Lavine served as president for 29 years until June 2017.

President: Steven Lavine

2016 compensation: $830,735

Enrollment: 1,498

Tuition: $49,276


Columbia College Chicago

President: Kwang-Wu Kim

2016 compensation: $651,091

Enrollment: 6,859

Tuition: $26,610


Rhode Island School of Design

RISD is a fine arts college in Providence, Rhode Island. It maintains an on-campus museum and has programs in fashion, illustration, photography, printmaking and more. Rosanne Somerson has served as president since January 2014, initially as interim president before being permanently appointed in February 2015.

President: Rosanne Somerson

2016 compensation: $554,808

Enrollment: 2,440

Tuition: $50,960


School of the Art Institute of Chicago

SAIC is a private art and design college with seven buildings in the Loop. Like Columbia, it has more female than male students and emphasizes diversity and cultural change. Elissa Tenny has served as its first female president since July 2016.

President: Elissa Tenny

2016 compensation: $459,608

Enrollment: 2,895

Tuition: $49,310


University of Denver

DU is a private university in Denver, Colorado. It offers a variety of study abroad programs and features the Lamont School of Music. Rebecca Chopp has been the chancellor since September 2014.

Chancellor: Rebecca Chopp

2014 compensation: $275,459

Enrollment: 11,434

Tuition: $50,556