President Linda LeMura Paid Less Than Former President Fred Pestello

More stories from Ibrahima Diallo

President Linda LeMura’s pay for her first full year as president of Le Moyne College was $105,567 less than previous President Fred Pestello’s for his last full year.

LeMura was paid $425,690 for the 2015-16 academic year while Pestello was paid $531,257 for the 2013-14 academic year, according to Le Moyne’s 990 form, which tax-exempt organizations must file annually with the IRS.

Director of Communications and Public Affairs Joe Della Posta says every president negotiates a compensation package with the Board of Trustees when assuming the presidency, which is based on their experience, tenure at the institution and many other factors.

“The deal that Dr. LeMura negotiated was independent of the package that Dr. Pestello received,” said Della Posta. “I do want to point out that the figure is not just her base salary, but all aspects of her compensation from the college, which includes health care benefits, automobile and housing allowances, and other miscellaneous items.”

For Fred Pestello’s first full academic year as president of Le Moyne, which spanned from June 1st, 2009 to May 31st, 2010,  he was paid $379,225. However, due to inflation, $379,225 in 2010 is not worth the same as it is today.

Adjusted for inflation, Pestello’s pay would be worth $426,661.50 today.

Gender pay gap is an issue across most professional fields and the salary of college presidents is no exception. Just three of the 25 highest-paid private college presidents are women, according The Chronicle of Higher Education and only 17 of the top 100 are women. A recent College and University Professional Association for Human Resources report found that female administrators in higher education earn only 80 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.

According to the Chronicle, Pestello’s pay at Saint Louis University was $682,831, and he is ranked 109 on the list of highest paid private college presidents.

Le Moyne’s Board of Trustees are responsible for setting the president’s salary.  Della Posta declined to make a board member available for comment. However, President LeMura says the makeup of the Board is different now than when Pestello was president.

“Le Moyne’s Board of Trustees is very cognizant of its fiduciary duties related to allocating resources to first and foremost benefit our students, while balancing that responsibility with the need to recruit and retain the best talent,” said LeMura. “Since the makeup of the Board is completely different now versus when President Pestello was here, I cannot comment on what may have accounted for differing levels of presidential compensation.”

Pestello was president of Le Moyne College from 2008-2014 until he left to become president of Saint Louis University. He was the first lay president of Le Moyne College. Before him, all presidents were priests and did not accept pay. Before becoming President, at Le Moyne College, Pestello worked at the University of Dayton for 24 years. He began his academic career as professor of sociology, before becoming the chair of the department of sociology, anthropology, and social work. From 2001 to 2008, he served as University of Dayton’s associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and was eventually elected provost and senior vice president for educational affairs.

Linda LeMura became the first female president of a Jesuit university in 2014 after becoming Le Moyne’s first female provost, a position she held for seven years. According to a interview, that year, she was also offered to be the first female president of La Salle University. However, she ultimately turned down La Salle’s offer and was unanimously approved by the Le Moyne board to become president. Before coming to Le Moyne, LeMura spent 15 years at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. During her time at Bloomsburg, she held numerous roles, including professor, graduate program director, and department chairperson.