The Backpage: Where the money is at private universities

Monday, July 30, 2012 at 10:05pm

Unlike most of the youngsters who fill up dorm rooms around town, private universities are exempt from federal taxes. But in exchange for what would undoubtedly be millions of dollars, private schools are required to file Form 990 — a peek inside the school’s finances.

What follows below is a snapshot financial representation of five of the area’s private four-year colleges. Keep in mind: The most recent numbers, filed in 2012, are from the financial year July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011.

Vanderbilt, with its opulent $3 billion endowment, leads the way when it comes to financial health. (Remember, though, that Vanderbilt University includes the booming medical center.) Belmont’s growing student population places its tuition revenue ahead of Battle of the Boulevard rival Lipscomb. However, both schools’ head basketball coaches received six-digit raises from the previous year. Speaking of athletics, Vanderbilt’s multifaceted Vice Chancellor of University Affairs and Athletics David Williams pulled in an unprecedented $3.2 million salary. Earlier this month, Vanderbilt announced Williams would drop his roles as general counsel and university secretary to move to a more athletics-centered role.

While Fisk University has struggled with accreditation issues related to finance, it awards nearly half the amount of its tuition revenue in scholarships and fellowships.

 

Belmont University

Tuition revenue: $134,786,833

Endowment funds: $65,541,914

Contributions and grants: $16,207,985

Scholarship money awarded by school: $19,784,818

President Bob Fisher’s compensation: $904,303

Highest compensated academic: J. Patrick Raines, Jack C. Massey Dean of the College of Busines Administration and professor of economics, $288,742

Highest compensated coach: Rick Byrd, men’s basketball coach, $728,667

Highest compensated contractor: R.C. Mathews Contractor, $12,128,233 primarily for construction of law school building, below.

 

Lipscomb University

Tuition revenue: $90,316,218

Endowment: $51,975,962

Contributions and grants: $7,485,559

Scholarship money awarded: $18,113,180.

President Randy Lowry’s compensation: $387,362

Highest compensated academic: Roger L. Davis, dean of the College of Pharmacy, $233,705

Highest compensated coach: Scott Sanderson, men’s basketball coach, $355,003

Highest compensated contractor: Sodexho, $3,897,395 for food services

 

Vanderbilt University (includes Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

Tuition revenue: $437,381,717

Endowment: $3,007,607,383

Contributions and grants: $504,015,836

Scholarship money awarded: $301,756,00

Chancellor Nick Zeppos’ compensation: $2,228,349

Vice Chancellor David Williams’ compensation: $3,239,678

Highest compensated coach: Kevin Stallings, men’s basketball coach, $2,056,409

Highest compensated contractor: RC Mathews Construction, $9,345,080

 

Fisk University

Tuition revenue: $10,592,138

Endowment: $12,611,220

Contributions and grants: $11,914,376

Scholarships awarded by school: $4,594,818

President Hazel O’Leary’s compensation: $231,975

Highest compensated academic: Arnold Burger, vice president for academic initiative, $150,951

Highest compensated coach: No coach among highest paid

Highest paid contractor: Thompson Hospitality, $1,020,382 for food services

 

Trevecca Nazarene University

Tuition revenue: $33,591,610

Endowment: $16,415,433

Contributions and grants: $4,477,680

President Dan Boone’s compensation: $169,035

Highest compensated academic: James Agee, professor, $115,118

Highest compensated coach: No coach among highest paid

Highest compensated contractor: American Constructors, $3,728,969