Brandeis makes $263 million in tuition and fees, provides $100 million in financial aid for 2017-18 fiscal year

August 23, 2019

Brandeis University has filed and released their tax returns, as the university does every year, disclosing the salaries of Brandeis’ top paid employees, how much money is made in fundraising and other university financials.

Brandeis made over $263 million in tuition and fees, according to the documents. Expenses included around $150 million in employee salaries and wages, and about $18.7 million in dining services. Brandeis also spent around $100 million in university funded financial aid. 

“Our financial health is solid. This has been further reiterated by our recent debt rating letters from Moody’s and S&P,” wrote Brandeis Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Sam Soloman to The Brandeis Hoot, referring to two credit rating firms.

In part of the form titled Endowment Funds, the university listed a year end balance of just over $1 billion, up from the beginning of the year at around $977 million.

Individual Salaries

376 individuals received more than $100,000 in reportable compensation from Brandeis in 2017. 

The highest paid individual at Brandeis is University President Ronald Liebowtiz, who reported compensation of $847,332 for the 2018 fiscal year, which refers to the 2017 calendar year. This salary comes from his $664,974 base compensation plus other compensation, retirement and deferred compensation and nontaxable benefits.  

Liebowtiz also received an estimated amount of additional compensation from Brandeis or related organizations of $104,961, coming to a total of nearly a million dollars. 

This salary, however, is lower than former president Frederick Lawrence, who led Brandeis from 2011 to 2015, according to his university webpage. During his last calendar year as president, in 2015, Lawrence was paid $858,782 plus an estimated amount of additional compensation at $146,984, resulting in a total of $1,005,766.

But Lawrence was also paid in 2016, after he had stepped down as president on June 30, 2015, according to a Hoot article from February 2015. Lawrence was listed as “faculty” for the 2016 payment, which was just under $1 million, including Lawrences’ additional estimated compensation.

Lawrence was also listed on Brandeis’ tax forms for the 2017 fiscal year, where he was listed as “former president” and reported a compensation of $185,000. 

“As part of his Presidential contract Fred Lawrence received payments as a faculty member after he stepped down as President,” wrote Soloman to The Hoot. He also mentioned that payments after a university employed individual leaves Brandeis are a common practice in higher education.

“When some employees leave the university, either their salary is paid on that prior calendar year, or [there] may be an accrued agreement paying the person for a short period of time after they leave day-to-day operating roles at the university,” he wrote. “This is a common practice.”

Brandeis changed its compensation policies in early 2014, at the same time the university president before Lawrence, Jehuda Reinharz, left Brandeis with a $4.9 million payout won through deferred compensation and for untaken sabbatical, according to a 2014 Inside Higher Ed article. Lesser payments reported by smaller media outlets caused over $1,000 Brandeis community members to sign a petition advocating for fair executive pay. 

Lawrence received no deferred compensation in 2017, $26,500 in 2016 and $76,500 in 2015. 

Deferred compensation is common at universities, according to the Inside Higher Ed article, to help presidents plan for retirement and to encourage university presidents to stay at their current institution. Payments can be tied to goals or have tax advantages. 

The 2014 policy change, according to Inside Higher Ed, required all members of the Board of Trustees to see all executive compensation agreements. 

According to the Board of Trustees bylaws listed on Brandeis’ website, the executive committee—made up of the chair of the board, the vice chair, the university president, one faculty representative appointed by the chair and the chairs of the standing committees—sets the president’s compensation. 
The tax filings also touch on contributions and grants made to the university, which were down this year from about $80 million to about $45 million. Brandeis received a $50 million gift in 2017 from the estate of two chicago philanthropists—the largest gift in Brandeis’ history according to a BrandeisNow article—and a $10 million grant in 2018 from alumnus Toshizo “Tom” Watanabe ’73 to create an international scholarship program to assist students from Japan to study at Brandeis, according to an earlier Hoot article from November 2018.

Menu Title