Chart provided by MSN Money using data provided by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Belmont University President Dr. Robert Fisher is the seventh highest paid private university president in the country, according to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Fisher’s compensation was $2.12 million, with a base pay of $1.01 million and $1.08 million in deferred compensation, according to Belmont’s 2014 Form 990, a yearly tax form submitted to the IRS. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Marty Dickens believes Fisher has been an invaluable resource to Belmont and defended his compensation.
“Bob Fisher’s 16+ years as president have been nothing short of remarkable,” said Dickens in a statement provided by the university. “His attention to detail is extraordinary, and he has dedicated his time and energy in a way that even those at Fortune 500 companies would find impressive. I am absolutely thrilled by the work he has done, and the Board of Trustees believes his compensation is more than justified by the significance and impact of his accomplishments to date at Belmont University.”
Dickens also added Fisher refused an increase to his base salary for the past four years.
During Fisher’s tenure at Belmont, student population doubled, six new dorms and five new academic buildings were constructed and Belmont went from being ranked 16th of regional universities in the South to being ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report.
MSN Money reported Wednesday that Fisher made 50 times as much as the average Belmont University graduates in 2014.
In 2014, Fisher also made $750,000 more than Vanderbilt University President Nicholas S. Zeppos, more than $600,000 more than John Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and $500,000 more than Cornell University President David J. Skorton, when including Fisher’s deferred compensation with base compensation, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Sophomore Jason Saitta voiced frustrations with Fisher’s pay.
“The money we pay to go here should go towards our education not towards his salary,” Saitta said. “There are so many better things that this school could be spending the money we pay on than that.”
Sophomore Katherine Heidecke said she came to Belmont expecting much more in financial aid than the general merit scholarship she received after graduating high school with a high GPA, she said.
“I was shocked that I didn’t receive more,” Heidecke said. “I think some of the money Dr. Fisher makes could go towards aiding students, especially at a school that prides itself on making Belmont such a warm and welcoming environment.”
Sophomore Caitlyn Henneberry thinks funds could be better allocated at Belmont.
“It’s disheartening knowing that while certain departments in our university are struggling to come up with money to offer some classes, our president is making far more than any college president needs to,” Henneberry said.
Saitta also thinks Belmont could be using their funds elsewhere.
“What we’re paying for is an education and the materials we need to get an education,” Saitta said. “It’s just ridiculous that a lot of the money we pay to go to this school is going straight to Bob Fisher’s pocket.”
This article was written by Zach Gilchriest and Sara Scannell. Photo provided by Belmont University. Chart provided by MSN Money using data provided by the Chronicle of Higher Education.