Highest-earning employees work at med school

| Contributing Reporter

Washington University’s top-paid employees don’t have offices on the Danforth Campus—they work at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The University’s 2010 tax filings reveal that the top-paid University employee is Richard H. Gelberman, the Fred C. Reynolds professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and the rest of the top five is composed of medical school employees as well.

This surprised some students, who expected a well-known University figure, such as Chancellor Mark Wrighton, to receive the highest compensation.

The information was disclosed on Form 990, a document that publicly discloses an organization’s financial information, required annually from the University by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to the document, Gelberman received a total compensation* of $1,154,922, including a base pay of $1,103,386 and other reportable compensations that totaled $14,813.

Other top-paid University employees included K. Daniel Riew, professor of orthopedic surgery, Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., professor and chairman of neurological surgery, Timothy J. Eberlein, surgeon-in-chief of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Rick W. Wright, associate professor of orthopedic surgery.

All four medical officials received total compensations of around $1 million, which includes base salary, bonuses and any other reportable compensation.

Each was listed as working around 40 hours per week.

The University’s compensations committee approves decisions on the amount of income of the University’s key employees, which are based on Form 990 of other schools and organizations, written employment contracts and regular compensations surveys.

Most students remarked that they had only a vague idea on the income distribution among University employees.

Nevertheless, some students responded that they had expected Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton to be the highest-paid employee on campus. His total compensation in 2010 was $861,979.

Many were surprised that they had not heard of the top-paid University employees. Yet, it did not come as a surprise for students to find that the University’s five highest-paid employees were in fact working physicians and professors at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“My guess would be that [the Medical School professorships] are positions where the University is trying to attract the best people in the field,” junior Robert Bradley said.