SMITHFIELD — Bryant University President Ronald Machtley's wife, Kati, was paid $85,581 in 2017 for running the university's one-day Women's Summit, the college confirmed Wednesday.

Ronald Machtley, the university's outgoing president, made more than any other college president in the nation in 2017, with a total compensation package of $6.2 million, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported Tuesday. The report ranks the compensation packages of more than 600 private colleges and 250 public colleges, using 2017 data.

The mission of the annual Women's Summit is to empower women professionally, personally and financially, according to Bryant's website. The summit has explored trends in education, leadership, diversity, health care and other topics during break-out sessions that support participants' professional aspirations.

"We have seen very few cases where the wife of a spouse gets a real salary," said James Finkelstein, a professor emeritus with the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in Virginia. "In most cases, spouses are allowed to travel with the president if it is beneficial to the school. In some cases, we have seen relatively small payments when there are specific things that are defined that they need to do.

"We've seen only a handful of significant spousal compensations in our time studying public universities," he said.

Finkelstein and his colleague, Judith Wilde, have reviewed 300 contracts for public university presidents. 

John J. Bowen, former president of Johnson & Wales University, claimed the second-highest compensation package among college presidents, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

Machtley, who has run the university for 24 years, is retiring at the end of this academic year.

 

— lborg@providencejounral.com

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