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Which Historians Have Made Bank in the United States?

Historians/History
tags: inequality, university presidents, income



Alexandra M. Webster, an HNN intern, is a Graduate Research & Teaching Assistant at Villanova University.

An old joke goes, “Become a historian. Get rich.” But for some historians it’s no joke. They truly have become rich. The secret of their success? Becoming an administrator.


We discovered 32 historians who serve as college or university presidents. Below, you can learn more about these historians: who and where they are, what areas they specialize in, and other interesting facts. We also dug up their salaries.1 How much do they make compared to historians in the classroom? Read on to find out.


Someone we missed? Send an email to our Editor to let us know.



#1Esther Barrazone

·       President, Chatham University

·       Total Compensation: $1,812,132

·       PhD, Columbia

·       Specialization: European Intellectual History

(full bio)


#2 - John Sexton

·       President, New York University

·       Total Compensation: $1,473,754

·       PhD, Fordham University

·       Specialization: American Religion

·       Also earned a JD from Harvard

·       Author of numerous books, including Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game

(full bio)


#3 - Nathan Hatch

·       President, Wake Forest University

·       Total Compensation: $1,300,334

·       PhD, Washington University (St. Louis)

·       Specialization: American Religion

·       Author of The Democratization of American Christianity 

(full bio)


#4 - Drew Gilpin Faust

·       President, Harvard University

·       Total Compensation: $899,734

·       PhD, University of Pennsylvania

·       Specializations: American Civil War and American South

·       Author of numerous books, including Mothers of Invention: Women in the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

(full bio)


#5 - Edward Ayers

·       President, University of Richmond

·       Total Compensation: $863,289

·       PhD, Yale

·       Specialization: The American South

·       A proponent of digital history whose work earned him a National Humanities Medal in 2012.

·       Author of numerous books, including In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 

(full CV)


#6 - Mordechai Rozanski

·       President, Rider University

·       Total Compensation: $728,590

·       PhD, University of Pennsylvania

·       Specializations: China and Chinese-American Relations

 (full bio)


#7 - Charles Middleton

·       President, Roosevelt University

·       Total Compensation: $725,311

·       PhD, Duke

·       Specializations: 18th-19th Century Britain

·       Author of The Administration of British Foreign Policy, 1782-1846

(full bio)


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