The University of Richmond employee who made the most money during the 2008-2009 academic year was someone most students have never even heard of.
Srinivas Pulavarti made more money, including benefits, than President Edward Ayers ($710,472), head basketball coach Christopher Mooney ($362,339), and professor of psychology and President Emeritus William Cooper ($450,034).
Pulavarti was paid $811,553 including benefits during the 2008-2009 academic year for his management of the university’s endowment and other institutional investments as president of Spider Management Co. (see page 8 and page 43 of the tax document)
Each year, the University of Richmond files a public report with the IRS that shows, among other things, the school’s net assets and liabilities, net revenue, university endowment and compensation information for top officers and directors, as well as the highest-paid employees of the university who are not officers or directors. The form filed by the university May 14, 2010, covers the academic year from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009.
Administrator salaries listed in the document include the deans of the three schools of the university:
– Andrew Newcomb, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences ($272,857).
– John Douglass, dean of the T.C. Williams School of Law ($285,846).
– Jorge Haddock, former dean of the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business ($284,370). Haddock has since been replaced by Business School dean Nancy Bagranoff.
Louie Love, director of treasury services in the department of business and finance, said the slight variation in compensation of the three deans was in accordance with typical compensation evaluations.
“We look at market data when we first hire them, and then the compensation at comparable institutions,” Love said. He said the benchmark compensation for a business school dean was likely different than that of a dean of arts and sciences.
The highest paid faculty member of the 2008-2009 year was professor of finance Patrick Fishe ($310,492). Professor of law Carl Tobias ($267,253) was also included on the list.
Vice presidents of the university included:
– Stephen Allred, provost and vice president for academic affairs ($151,264). Allred replaced Joseph Kent ($175,044) on July 1, 2008, whose salary reflects his service as interim provost.
– Stephen Bisese, vice president for student development ($220,029).
– Kathryn Monday, vice president for information services ($217,642).
Also listed were Lori Schuyler, chief of staff ($195,188), Carolyn Martin, executive assistant to the president ($186,781), and Ann Lloyd Breeden, secretary to the Board of Trustees ($192,456).
In addition to coach Mooney, former head football coach Michael London ($278,719) was included. London has since left the university for the University of Virginia Cavaliers and been replaced by Latrell Scott. Scott’s compensation for his first year was not covered by the most recently available IRS form, called the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, commonly referred to as the 990 form.
A few of the listed compensation totals may not reflect an entire year’s typical compensation, because some employees joined the university during the recorded year, Hossein Sadid, vice president for business and finance, said.
Love explained the other forms of compensation that accompany base salaries paid to each employee.
“Just about all university employees to some extent have the opportunity for disability insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, a contribution toward their retirement,” Love said.
Ayers received nontaxable benefits totaling to $197,186 for the 2008-2009 calendar year, Love said. Ayers’s nontaxable compensation was particularly high because it included his house on the university campus.
Ayers also received an annual deferred compensation of $50,000, which is deferred to his retirement, Love said. (see page 39)
As a private institution, Richmond’s tax return requires reporting of “the organization’s current officers, directors, trustees (whether individuals or organizations), regardless of amount of compensation, and current key employees” as well as “the organization’s five current highest compensated employees (other than an officer, director, trustee, or key employee) who received reportable compensation of more than $100,000 from the organization and any related organizations,” according to the 990 form.
Love explained the method for university compensation decision-making.
“The university has a compensation system and that system has ranges for staff and administrative positions,” Love said. “The ranges are reviewed periodically to be sure they’re consistent with the job market and competitive with peer institutions.”
Compensation totals for Pulavarti and Robin Blandford ($448,273), director of investments for Spider Management Co., also both included bonus and incentive compensations of $275,000 and $175,000, respectively. Spider Management Co. is a wholly controlled affiliate of the University of Richmond.
“[Pulavarti and Blandford are] both paid a base salary and they’re eligible for performance bonuses under the terms of their employment based on the performance of the university’s endowment,” Love said. “This is a very typical bonus structure for positions such as these.”
The university’s endowment lost about 14 percent of its value during the 2008-2009 calendar year.
The endowment at the beginning of the calendar year totaled $1,707,377,490. It dropped to $1,393,253,972 by the end of the year with investment losses of $251,435,539 and other expenditures of $64,070,335, according to the 990 form. (page 19)
“The decline in the market value of the endowment between 2008 and 2009 was entirely due to the economic downturn,” Sadid said. “However, despite the negative return, the endowment performance in 2009 was quite remarkable compared to other large endowments, outperforming both internal and external benchmarks.”
According to The Princeton Review, two of Richmond’s most comparable schools include Wake Forest University and Georgetown University.
Wake Forest’s endowment lost about 20 percent of its value during the 2008-2009 year and Georgetown’s endowment lost about 22 percent, according to those school’s 990 forms.
“The performance of the Richmond endowment was +10.1 percent for the  fiscal year,” Sadid wrote in the 2009-2010 Treasurer’s Report. “Over the past ten years, the endowment pool achieved a net average annual return of 7.4 percent as compared to the policy benchmark of 3.3 percent.”
Sadid also said the overall net assets of the university increased 5 percent between 2009 and 2010.
Sadid, who replaced Herbert Peterson ($284,282) on June 30, 2009, said the other expenditures portion of the endowment covered faculty salaries, scholarships, fellowships and academic programs.
Salaries and wages, not including the compensation of persons specifically named in the 990 form, made up about 40 percent of total expenses for the 2008-2009 calendar year, according to the 990 form’s statement of functional expenses. (page 10)
Bisese said he felt the university worked hard to pay employees comparable salaries to similar positions at other institutions.
“I have held four positions at UR since I was first hired in 1985,” Bisese said. “In each case, I felt the university offered me a salary that was comparable to my position at other schools.
“Each time I was offered a new job at UR my guiding principle was that I wanted to work here and be a part of a university on the move.”