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Dartmouth’s $1 Million Woman

Investment Chief Is Top Paid Official

Hanover — Chief Investment Officer Pamela Peedin, the top manager of Dartmouth College’s $3.7 billion endowment, collected more than a million dollars for her efforts during 2012.

That would have given her the fattest paycheck on the Hanover campus — except that Peedin, who collected $1.1 million in base pay, bonus and other compensation, didn’t work there.

Instead, Peedin worked in a Boston office where she leads the college’s 11-member team of investment managers and administrators. The investment office opened in Boston in 2011, after Dartmouth lured Peedin away from Boston University, where she also managed the endowment.

Information about her pay, and other top salaries for Dartmouth faculty and administrators, was contained in fiscal year 2013 federal tax forms — known as Form 990s — released this week by Dartmouth.

Peedin, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1989 and earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business in 1998, was propelled to the top of the 2012 pay pyramid by a $562,500 bonus that was tied to the gains posted by the investments Peedin managed.

“She must be doing a hell of a job,” said Earl Sweet, president of Service Employees International Union Local 560, which represents facilities operations, dining hall and other employees at the college.

Dartmouth spokesman Justin Anderson said that Peedin’s bonus was “based on a number of factors that (were both) quantitative and qualitative” but declined to specify what investment time period or performance benchmarks were used to set it.

During the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, the college’s investment managers posted an investment return of 12.1 percent on the endowment, slightly better than the 11.7 percent average endowment return of colleges and universities surveyed by the 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. In fiscal 2012, Dartmouth’s managers beat the benchmark by a wider margin, posting a 5.8 percent return on endowment investments, while the NACUBO average was negative, at -0.3 percent.

Sweet noted that Dartmouth officials had cited financial difficulties when they recently announced that non-union employees would receive a 1.5 percent pay hike in the coming fiscal year.

“It doesn’t sound like hard times to me when they’re giving someone a million dollars,” he said.

Peedin’s bonus was set in part to bring her pay in line with “her Ivy League peers,” Anderson said.

The fiscal 2012 Form 990s filed by the eight Ivy schools showed total pay packages of the four men and four women who held top Ivy investment jobs ranging from the $718,000 collected by Albert Edwards, who oversaw Cornell’s $5.3 billion endowment, to the $7.3 million collected by Nirmal Navekar, manager of Columbia’s $7.7 billion nest egg. In a year when she was paid for only 10 months work, Peedin’s $872,000 pay package ranked seventh.

Susan Finegan, president of the Dartmouth College Alumni Association, said that Peedin and Dartmouth’s other highly paid leaders all fill “demanding jobs that require the very best people.”

“The alumni understand that in order to run that kind of world-class institution it does take some money,” Finegan said. “Dartmouth should be committed to (a) level of compensation that will maintain the competitive position that it has.”

In 2012, that meant paying a total of $12.2 million to 22 “highly compensated employees” whose individual pay packages ranged upwards of $260,000, according to the filing. Just below Peedin on the pay pyramid was Wiley Souba, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine, who collected $899,766 in base pay and other compensation.

Paul Danos, dean of the Tuck School of Business, ranked third, at $794,155, including base pay of $737,000. That represented a 32.5 percent jump in base pay which, Anderson said, came in a new contract when Danos was reappointed as dean at Tuck. Danos recently announced plans to retire in June 2015.

Another hefty increase in base pay went to Robert Donin, the college’s top lawyer, whose 2012 salary of $440,000 was up 23.3 percent over 2011. The increase was awarded to compensate Donin for taking on additional duties, including visa and immigration matters, human resources and relations with the college’s board of trustees, Anderson said.

During 2012, Dartmouth awarded a $200,000 bonus to Jim Yong Kim, who was college president until June 30. That bonus was awarded “at the discretion of the board of trustees,” although no specific criteria were available for public release, Anderson said. Kim’s bonus, $512,000 base pay and retirement and other benefits gave him total compensation of $778,000 for the six months he was at Dartmouth before leaving to take the helm at the World Bank.

In 2011, Kim declined the trustee’s offer of a $100,000 bonus but still topped the pay scale, with $918,000 in total compensation.

Carol Folt, who was the interim president following Kim’s departure, collected a total pay package of $700,000 in 2012. That ranked only sixth among the best-paid Dartmouth leaders, as two faculty members got paid more than Folt: Tuck Professor Paul Argenti, at $776,000, and Geisel Surgery Department Chairman Richard Freeman Jr., at $734,000.

Dartmouth’s Form 990 reports the college’s financial performance in the 12-month period that ended on June 30, 2013. However, the base pay, bonuses and pension and other benefits reported in the return were for the 2012 calendar year. That was done so that pay reported in the college’s 990 filing would match employee pay reported to the IRS in W-2 forms, Anderson said.

Rick Jurgens can be reached at rjurgens@vnews.com .