A new survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education puts Herbst’s salary and other compensation at $738,000.
The compensation includes a base salary of $500,000, plus $50,000 in deferred compensation that was paid out, another $150,000 in deferred compensation that will be paid out in 2016, and $38,000 in retirement benefits.
Although among the highest in the country, Herbst’s salary would have to quadruple to reach the level of Graham B. Spanier, the fired Penn State University president who left with a severance and deferred compensation package of $2.9 million.
Second on the list is Jay Gogue of Auburn University in Alabama, who still has his job and made $2.5 million in 2011-12. That included a base salary of $483,070 plus five years of deferred compensation.
The median base pay for public college presidents in 2012 was $373,800, according to the Chronicle, which is a lead trade publication. In all, the Chronicle looked at the salaries of 212 presidents at 191 public institutions.
Stephanie Reitz, a UConn spokeswoman, said the numbers for Herbst need clarification.
First, she said the figure is $718,000 not $738,000 and based on a one-time retention incentive payment of $125,000, Herbst will be eligible for in 2016, if she completes the full five years of her contract.
Reitz said the $150,000 figure cited by the Chronicle was a mistake that the publication has promised to correct. At $718,000, Herbst would be bumped down to 20th on the list.
Herbst, who has been at UConn for two years, put a plan in motion last year to increase the number of full-time faculty from 1,300 to 1,600 positions over four years. To do that, tuition will go up about 5.5 percent each of those years.
Herbst was not immediately available for comment on Monday.