Monday, May 23, 2016

Lagerkvist: NJIT President's $5.3M Contract Tops New Jersey's Pay and Perks for College Chiefs

By Mark Lagerkvist

At $555,000 a year, Joel Bloom does not have the highest salary among New Jersey public college presidents. But counting his extra benefits and perks from New Jersey Institute of Technology, Bloom has a taxpayer-supported deal that’s second to none.

Bloom’s five-year contract with NJIT is worth roughly $5.3 million. And that doesn’t count the cost of his pension, health insurance, vacation time, sick leave and expense account – not to mention the car and driver provided by the Newark-based research university.

No other public officials in New Jersey receive the levels of compensation that many college presidents enjoy – not even Gov. Chris Christie or state Supreme Court justices, according to a NJ Spotlight analysis.

The little-known cornucopia of extras is detailed in employment contracts obtained by NJ Spotlight under the Open Public Records Act. For example, Bloom’s deal with NJIT includes:

  • Performance bonus of up to 25 percent of his salary. Last year, it was $130,000.
  • Annual “retention incentive” bonus of $120,000 to help ensure his loyalty to NJIT.
  • Housing allowance of $85,000 a year
  • Three-fourths of his salary for two years – $825,000 based on his current pay – as an advisor and figurehead with the title of president emeritus after he retires or resigns.

NJ Spotlight’s analysis of the contracts of New Jersey’s 30 public college presidents found:

  • 20 have contracts that provide for annual bonuses based on performance or longevity
  • 17 receive deferred compensation or contributions to annuities to supplement the public pensions.
  • 17 receive free use of college-owned residences or housing allowances as part of their compensation packages.
  • 23 are provided with the use of college cars or an allowance to cover the cost of their own automobiles.

The story is now online at NJ Spotlight – Details on each college president – with links to their contracts – is posted at

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