Burwell salary increased by more than 9 percent in 2019, new report says

AU ranks in top 25 percent of private schools for presidential compensation

Burwell salary increased by more than 9 percent in 2019, new report says

President Sylvia Burwell talks to The Eagle in 2018.

American University President Sylvia Burwell received more than $1 million in total compensation for fiscal year 2019, according to public tax filings with the IRS published by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Burwell made a total of $1,066,509 in the 2019 fiscal year, which was comprised of base pay of $800,117. The rest came from bonus pay of $186,700, nontaxable benefits and a category labeled “other pay.”

The fiscal year is a term that describes the period when an organization follows the same budget. AU’s fiscal year begins on May 1 and ends on April 30.

Burwell’s base salary increased by more than 9 percent, or $72,580 from the previous fiscal year. When she started at AU in 2017, her base salary was $421,153, though she started in September, midway through the fiscal year. 

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Burwell’s pay in 2019 ranked 60th out of the  252 private universities it surveyed, putting AU in the top 25 percent of executive compensation at private universities. In 2018, Burwell’s compensation ranked at 65. 

Burwell’s salary is greater than that of full-time faculty by a ratio of 6-to-1. The average tenure/tenure track full-time professor salary was $172,523 in 2019, the associate professor salary was $112,218 and the assistant professor salary was $101,341. For full-time instructors, the average salary is listed as $79,555 for 2019-2020. Burwell made $1,702 per every $1 million in expenses that the University had, which totaled $626 million, slightly over the median amount for private universities. 

Editor's Note: We have updated this article to expand more information on public data salary, including instructors and associate and assistant professors on the tenure/tenure track category. 


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