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June 8, 2018

Executive Compensation at Wake Forest

by Anne Paddock

Wake Forest University (Wake Forest) is not a part of the Ivy League (8 private universities in the northeast) but if rank is ever determined by executive compensation, then Wake Forest would be right up there.

In 2016, Wake Forest reported employing 5,838 individuals for the roughly 8,000 students (5,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate) at a total compensation cost of $232 million, which equates to an average compensation of $56,000 (compared to $58,000 at Harvard and $75,000 at Yale). However, 431 individuals received more than $100,000 in compensation, including the 15 most highly compensated individuals listed below:

  • $4,229,027:  Nathan O Hatch, PhD, President
  • $1,827,370:  David P Clawson, Football Coach
  • $1,748,878:  Daniel R Manning, Basketball Coach
  • $1,106,115:   Ronald D Wellman, Director of Athletics
  • $  843,858:  Rogan Kersh, PhD, Provost
  • $  682,674:  Hofler Milam, EVP and CFO
  • $  608,047:  Reid Morgan, SVP, Secretary, GC
  • $  602,770:  Mark A Peterson, VP, Advancement
  • $  489,939:  Charles L Iacovou, Dean, School of Business
  • $  478,954:  Ajay Patel, Professor, School of Business
  • $  403,379:  Michelle Roehm, V Dean, School of Business
  • $  391,891:  Michael Elko, Asst Football Coach
  • $  278,768:  Mark E Welker, PhD, Former Interim Provost
  • $  269,613:  Michele Gillespie, Dean, Wake Forest College
  • $  203,185:  Anita M Conrad, Asst Secretary

Of the 15 individuals listed above, 12 (80%) are men, while 3 (20%) are women. The 10 most highly compensated individuals are men. It is also important to note that the second, third, and fourth highest compensated individuals are males who are involved in athletics.

In addition, the following list of individuals were compensated from related organizations:

  • $2,284,045:  John D McConnell, MD, EVP Health Affairs
  • $1,132,706:  James J Dunn, Former Chief Investment Officer – by Vergel Capital Management, LLC (owned 100% by WF and manages the endowment assets)

The Form 990 reports Wake Forest pays for first class or charter travel and travel for companions. Of the $13.4 million spent on travel, it is unclear how much was spent on first class, charter, and travel for companions.

Wake Forest also pays for health or social club or initiation fees, personal services (i.e. maid, chauffeur, chef) along with tax indemnification and gross up payments. There is also a housing allowance or residence for personal use (although this is not unusual in a college setting), and a discretionary spending account for the president. To read the supplemental information on these items, see Schedule J, Part III of the Form 990 (click on the link at the bottom of this post).

David P Clawson, the football coach was provided a $375,000 loan for insurance. The balance is $375,000.

In 2016, Wake Forest reported total revenue of $482 million, most of which ($391 million or 81% of total revenue) came from program services (i.e. tuition, room and board, fees, athletic programs, organized activities, health fees, etc), contributions, gifts, and grants ($72 million including $8 million from government grants), investment income including the sale of securities ($8 million), sale of inventory ($7 million) and royalties and tennis events ($4 million).

Expenses totaled $447 million (not including $31 million in depreciation) of which $232 million (about 50%) was for compensation costs.  The other primary expenses were $106 million in grants (primarily non-cash general tuition scholarships), office expenses ($33 million), fees for services ($25 million), travel and conferences ($16 million), and interest ($12 million).

At year-end, Wake Forest had $1.1 billion in net fund assets, of which $284 million was permanently restricted.

Tuition (undergraduate), room, and board is nearly $70,000 annually.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2015), click here.

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