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Top paid president of private university earns $1 million

A retirement package for Northeastern University's president boosted his compensation close to $1 million in 1995-96, the highest-paid head of a private college or university, an educational journal reported Saturday.

The salary and benefits of $995,358 put John A. Curry far ahead of the nine other top-earning presidents, whose packages ranged from almost $400,000 to about $480,000, the Chronicle of Higher Education said.The report, based on filings with the Internal Revenue Service, said half of the almost 400 college presidents who had worked two full years at the time of the study had received salary increases of 4 percent. About 60 had increases of at least 10 percent.

At the same time, tuition increases averaged 5 percent at private colleges and universities.

Seventh on the list was Peter Diamondopoulos, removed this year as president of Adelphi University after the New York State Board of Regents found his salary and benefits were excessive. He earned $421,070 in 1995-96.

After Curry, the top earners:

- Joe B. Wyatt, Vanderbilt University, $479,072.

- Judith S. Rodin, University of Pennsylvania, $453,029.

- Thomas K. Hearn, Wake Forest University, $447,748.

- L. Jay Oliva, New York University, $426,612.

- Richard C. Levin, Yale University, $424,295.

- Peter Diamondopoulos, Adelphi University, $421,070.

- James M. Shuart, Hofstra University, $411,922.

- George Rupp, Columbia University, $403,357.

- James O. Freedman, Dartmouth College, $397,026.