Skip to content

March 12, 2023

Executive Compensation at Drexel University (2021)

by Anne Paddock

Drexel University is a private research university in Philadelphia, PA (although there are satellite campuses) with about 24,000 students (an estimated 15,000 undergraduate students and 9,000 graduate students).  The annual cost of tuition, room and board (undergraduate) is about $76,000.

In 2021, Drexel reported total revenue of $1.2 billion (compared to $1.3 billion in 2020) with the largest sources being tuition and fees ($966 million), government grants ($162 million), related organizations ($41 million) and contributions, gifts ,and grants ($39 million).

Expenses totaled $1.2 billion (not including $49 million in depreciation) with the largest expenses reported to be compensation-related ($494 million), grants ($426 million) – primarily to individuals ($403 million to 23,533 or an average of $17,000 each), office-related  ($132 million), and fees ($59 million) – primarily other expenses of $50 million with no detail provided).

In essence, Drexel University received $966 million in tuition, room and board (an average of $40,000 per student) and awarded $403 million to students in the form of scholarship to 23,533 students (or an average of $17,000).

Another way to look at the revenue and expenses is that if you gave $100 to Drexel (whether it was tuition, a contribution, etc), $41 was spent on staff compensation and benefits, $36 was spent on grants primarily to students, $11 was spent on office-related expenses, $5 was spent on fees for services, and $8 was spent on all other expenses (travel and conferences, advertising and promotion, interest, bad debt expenses, etc).  If you’re a full pay student, then essentially 1/3 of your tuition went towards scholarship grants for other students.

Drexel reported $1.340 billion in net assets at year-end, compared to $1.184 billion at the beginning of the year. The improvement is attributable primarily to unrealized gains on investments.

11,528 employees received $494 million in compensation, or an average of $43,000.  1,083 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 25 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $2,384,271:  John A Fry, President
  • $  924,893:  Helen Y Bowman, EVP, Treasurer, COO
  • $  763,713:  Charles Cairns, Dean and SVP, Medical Affairs Com
  • $  664,783:  Daniel V Schidlow, Former Dean Emeritus, College of Medicine
  • $  644,464:  Paul Jensen, SVP, and Nina Henderson Provost
  • $  587,525:  David L Unruh, SVP, Institutional Advancement
  • $  501,876:  Michael J Exler, SVP and General Counsel
  • $  496,316:  Zachary Spiker, Head Coach Basketball
  • $  472,833:  Dennis Novack, Associate Dean, Clinical Access and AS
  • $  472,409:  Daniel Van Knippenberg, Professor, Management
  • $  471,278:  Yury Gogosti, Professor, Materials Engineering
  • $  465,417:  Paul Brandt-Rauf, Dean, School of Biomedical Engineering
  • $  442,328:  Elizabeth Van Bockstaele, SVP, Grad and On-Line Education
  • $  427,097:  Megan Weyler, SVP and CHRO
  • $  374,058:  Lori N Doyle, SVP, University Communications
  • $  347,893:  Subir Sahu, SVP, Student Success
  • $  341,056:  Evelyn Thimba, SVP, Enrollment Management
  • $  336,340:  Aliester Saunders, Executive Vice Pro, Res and Innov
  • $  312,265:  Joseph B Hughes, Former Dean, College of Eng
  • $  311,191:  Brian T Keech, SVP, Gov’t and Community Relations
  • $  306,599:  David Rusenko, CFO and Associate Treasurer, VP Finance
  • $  281,218:  Donna Marasko, Former Dean, College of AR
  • $  270,100:  Catherine Ulozas, Chief Investment Officer and VP
  • $  220,653:  Janice K Marini, Former Secretary
  • $  196,668:  Darin Pfeifer, Secretary

The 25 most highly compensated employees received $12 million in compensation with the most highly compensated employee, John A Fry, the President receiving $2.4 million. Over the past 5 years, Mr. Fry has received nearly $10 million in compensation:

  • 2021:  $2,384,272
  • 2020: $1,614,358 
  • 2019:  $2,431,281
  • 2018:  $1,423,636
  • 2017:  $1,671,432

17 of the 25 (68%) most highly compensated employees are male while 8 of the 25 (32%) are female (note:  gender is not reported on the Form 990; determinations were made based on name and google searches). Interestingly, 44 of the 60 (73%) trustees listed on the Form 990 are male, while 16 of the 60 (27%) are female.

Drexel paid for first class or charter travel and companion travel, health or social club dues or initiation fees, personal services (i.e. maid, chef, chauffeur), and provided housing for personal use or a housing allowance.  For details on these expenses and information on severance payments to former employees, and contributions to retirement plans (the information on the Form 990 is too lengthy to post), see the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

In addition, see the Form 990, Schedule L, Part III and Part IV, for information on business transactions, merit scholarships, tuition remission, and employment of “interested persons” (people who have a family relationship with an employee, director, etc).

154 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $25.6 million:  BSI Construction, of Bensalem, PA for construction services
  • $ 6.6 million:  Hunter Roberts Construction Group, of Philadelphia, PA for construction services
  • $ 6.5 million:  Aramark Services, of Philadelphia, PA for food services
  • $ 5.7 million:  Allied Universal Security Services, of Conshohocken, PA for security services
  • $ 4.4 million:  P Agnes, of Philadelphia, PA for construction services

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020 for the year ending June 30, 2021), click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: