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May 21, 2019

Executive Compensation at Williams College

by Anne Paddock

Williams College (Williams) is a private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Often ranked as one of the best small colleges in the country, Williams only accepts about 12% of applicants (last year, nearly 10,000 applied and about 1,200 were accepted. Approximately 550 will attend). Total enrollment is about 2,000 students whose annual tuition, room, and board is about $74,000 (or about $300,000 for 4 years).

In 2016, Williams reports total revenue was $341 million, $133 million of which came from tuition. The remaining revenue came from contributions, gifts, and grants ($69 million), gains on the sale of assets and investment income ($133 million), and other sources ($6 million).

Expenses for the same year totaled $259 million (not including depreciation) and were categorized in 6 major categories:

  1. $133 million (% of revenue): Compensation
  2. $ 58 million ( % of revenue):  Grants and Fellowships
  3. $ 28 million ( % of revenue):  Office-related Expenses and Equipment
  4. $ 23 million ( % of revenue):  Fees for Services
  5. $ 10 million ( % of revenue):  Interest
  6. $  7 million (% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences

As listed above, compensation is the single largest expense. Williams employed 3,573 employees who were compensated  $133 million, which equates to an average compensation of about $32,000.  246 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 18 most highly compensated individuals listed below:

  • $1,476,023:  Collette Chilton, Chief Investment Officer
  • $  810,821:  Adam Falk, President
  • $  750,101:  Bradford P Wakeman, Managing Director/COO, Investment Office
  • $  722,573:  Louis Sossa, Managing Director, Investment Officer
  • $  541,307:  Robert Fisher, Faculty Member
  • $  520,667:  Julia Crosby, Managing Director, Investment Office
  • $  472,520:  Frederick Puddester, VP for Finance and Admin/Treasurer
  • $ 378,295: Stephen P Klass, VP for Campus Life
  • $  316,305:  Abigail Wattley, Director, Investment Office
  • $  314,937:  John Malcolm, VP for College Relations
  • $ 310,850:  William Dudley, Provost, Professor of Philosophy
  • $  306,896:  Sarah Bolton, Dean of College, Professor of Physics
  • $  291,645:  Denise Buell, Dean of the Faculty
  • $  257,632:  William Lenhartut, Professor Computer Science/Former Officer
  • $  232,694: Keli A Gail, Secretary of the College
  • $ 206,247:  Peter Murphy, Professor English, Former Key Employee
  • $  197,251:  Angela P Schaeffer, Chief Communication Officer
  • $  179,612:  James Kolesarut, VP Public Affairs/Former Officer

As listed above, 11 of the 18 (61%) most highly compensated individuals are male while 7 of the 18 (39%) are female. The highest paid employee (the Chief Investment Officer) is a female. In fact, most of the top salaries are paid to people in the investment office who manage the $2.5 billion endowment.

The IRS Form 990 reports Williams paid for first class or charter travel, health or social club dues (a golf course club membership for the President that was reported as taxable income), and a housing allowance or residence for personal use (see Schedule J, Part III of the Form 990 for a detail explanation of these expenses).

Williams provided loans to the following employees:

  • $ 70,000:  To Keli Gail, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $19,812
  • $ 80,232:  To Sarah Bolton, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $56,000
  • $100,000:  To Stephan Klass, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $70,785
  • $ 40,000:  To John Malcolm, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $33,264
  • $100,000:  To Frederick Puddester, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $91,014
  • $100,000:  To Adam Falk, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $87,645
  • $ 81,880:  To Denise Buell, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $72,285
  • $ 50,000:  To Angela Schaeffer, a mortgage on a primary residence. Balance of $41,069

To read the IRS Form 990 (2015) for the year ending June 3, 2016, click here.

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