Olian earns $524K during her first six months as president

An overview of how the university made and spent its money in 2018

Chatwan Mongkol, Associate News Editor

Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian made $524,436 during her first six months in office, according to the university’s 2018 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax filing.

President Judy Olian earned upwards of half a million dollars in her first six months at Quinnipiac University. (Connor Lawless)

Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan confirmed that the amount included her salary and all the benefits.

Morgan did not say how much Olian made in 2019 and 2020. The IRS 990 forms for those fiscal years are set to be released two years after each form was filed. They contain Olian’s and other administrators’ 2019 and 2020 salaries. 

Prior to taking office in July 2018, Olian made $449,579 during her last six months as a school of management dean at the University of California Los Angeles and $599,833 overall in 2017.

However, the highest-compensated employee at Quinnipiac was not Olian. It was former President John Lahey who retired on June 30, 2018. He earned $1,419,800 in 2018.

Lahey has continued as a philosophy professor at Quinnipiac after his retirement from the executive position. Morgan did not respond to the questions about Lahey’s retirement benefits and his salary in 2019 and 2020.

According to the IRS 990 form, 38% of the university’s total expense of $473 million went to employees’ salaries. The following are the 10 employees who received the most salary at Quinnipiac in 2018:

  • Former President Lahey: $1,419,800
  • Head men’s basketball coach William (Baker) Dunleavy: $822,425
  • Former Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson: $784,306
  • Dean of School of Medicine Bruce Koeppen: $586,063
  • Former Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Donald Weinbach: $575,122
  • Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Varholak: $544,018
  • Head men’s ice hockey coach Rand Pecknold: $540,084
  • President Olian: $524,436
  • Head women’s basketball coach Patricia Sacca-Fabbri: $521,073
  • Former men’s basketball coach Thomas Moore: $420,000

Since the university’s finances were hit hard last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees’ salaries were also impacted. While faculty and staff took 3-5% cuts in their payrolls in April through the end of June, Olian took a 20% reduction.

All faculty and staff began receiving their original salaries after July 1, 2020, but Olian continued to take the cut for the school year.

Morgan said whether or not she will be taking any salary cut in the upcoming fiscal year has not yet been decided.

Quinnipiac president’s salary has been on the high side in the past decade. Lahey received $3.76 million in his 2012 total compensation, the second-highest among private universities’s leaders. In 2010, he received $1.8 million, which was the highest among university presidents in Connecticut.

The 990 form also revealed that the university paid $956,812 to architectural company Centerbrook in 2018 even though the university did not hire the company to develop the university’s 10-year master facilities plan.

Morgan did not immediately respond to questions about projects Centerbrook worked on in 2018.

Quinnipiac paid web development company R2i Holdings $526,539. Morgan did not immediately respond to whether or not the amount was for MyQ redesigning that did not happen.

In the year an EF1 tornado hit Quinnipiac, landscaping company All Area Landscaping received $472,016 from the university.

Real estate company 91 Leffingwell Road also received $840,000, and law firm Wiggin & Dana received $466,489 from the university in 2018.

The university’s main revenue in 2018 was from tuition and fees from students, which made the total of $402,179,453, a 1.46% increase from 2017 despite its enrollment downturn. Tuition costs have been making its way up in the past school years.

Quinnipiac ended the year with $556 million in its endowment funds, an 5.6% increase from 2017.