Bowdoin's top administrators earn pay on par with Maine's other top private colleges, according to public tax documents obtained by the Orient.

President Barry Mills received $255,850 in compensation in the 2003-2004 fiscal year, along with $42,752 in contributions to employee benefit plans. This sum of $298,602 in total presidential compensation mirrors that of nearby Bates and Colby Colleges.

According to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bates College President Elaine Tuttle Hansen received $297,603 in total compensation during the same period. Colby College President Bro Adams received $296,725.

In a comparison of the base compensation of private liberal arts college presidents nationwide, Mills received the 48th-highest pay.

Compensation data for Bowdoin's highest-paid employees are listed in the College's non-profit filing documents. As a non-profit organization, the College must file Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year and make it available for inspection by the public. The most recent form covers the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2003 and ending June 30, 2004.

According to Vice President of Finance Nigel Bearman, Bowdoin includes only retirement contributions and deferred compensation in its calculation of the benefits value. It does not include health insurance costs. The College offers its employees 403(b) retirement plans, which are taxed-deferred retirement plans for employees of educational institutions.

Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Katy Longley said the Board of Trustees determines Mills's compensation. Mills sets the pay for other top administrators.

After the president, Bowdoin's next highest-paid administrator was Vice President for Investments Paula Volent. Volent received $225,000 in base compensation and $37,998 in retirement plan contributions. The base pay represents a $50,000 raise from the previous year.

In a phone interview, Volent said that skilled investment managers are in high demand, and salaries at colleges reflect that market.

"Schools are trying to get good returns," she said.

According to Volent, colleges increasingly have to compete with the private sector as investment portfolios become more sophisticated. She noted that her salary comes from the endowment and not the College's operating budget.

Senior Vice President for Planning and Administration William Torrey earned $187,390 in base compensation and $116,168 in additional benefits. According to Longley, the higher benefits value is due to the inclusion of some deferred compensation.

Longley earned $175,000 in base compensation and $27,561 in contributions to employee benefit plans.

Also included in the documents are data for Dean of Academic Affairs Craig McEwen, who received compensation of $175,000 and $33,670 in benefits, and then-Dean of Admissions Jim Miller, who received $145,000 in compensation and $32,174 in benefits. Miller has since moved to Brown University's top admissions position, and a nationwide search is currently underway for a successor.

One professor also made the list. Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of History and Political Science Dan Levine earned $132,598 in compensation and $29,807 in benefits. Levine is Bowdoin's longest-serving professor, and plans to retire at the end of this academic year.

Longley said the dean of academic affairs sets faculty compensation, and uses a combination of factors to determine pay.

"There is some discretion on the part of the dean," she said.

In addition to these top employees, 243 other Bowdoin staffers earned over $50,000.

Trustees serve without compensation, according to the documents.

Federal regulations also require Bowdoin to provide the IRS with information on its highest-paid independent contractors.

Kyu Sung Woo Architect, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, received $458,729 for the design of East and West Halls.

Career Prospects, Inc., a temporary employment firm based in Brunswick, received $323,709. Longley said that the use of temporary employment firms is not new for Bowdoin.

The College's legal counsel, Verrill & Dana LLP of Portland, received $278,105. That represents an approximately $43,000 increase over the previous year.

Carol O'Brien Associates, a development planning firm, received $153,722 for services provided for the capital campaign.