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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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President Tripathi made more than $780,000, plus benefits, in 2020

Tripathi was the 40th highest-paid public university chief executive in the U.S.

UB President Satish Tripathi makes more money than his peers at other SUNY institutions.
UB President Satish Tripathi makes more money than his peers at other SUNY institutions.

UB President Satish Tripathi made $786,196 in 2020, making him the 40th highest-paid chief executive at a public institution, according to data from The Chronicle of Higher Education

That $786,196 salary comes from three funding sources: the state, the UB Foundation and the SUNY Research Foundation. Tripathi earns $430,422 from the state and $281,500 from the UB Foundation and SUNY Research Foundation, according to UB spokesperson John DellaContrada. The Spectrum could not confirm the source of the remaining $74,274. 

“The compensation level of a UB president is based on the national marketplace for presidential salaries at AAU [Association of American Universities] public research universities and on UB’s status as the largest institution within SUNY,” DellaContrada said. 

That salary puts him well above the median annual salary of $495,000 for presidents of public doctoral institutions, but he made $675 for every $1 million in institution expenses, putting him below the median on that metric. 

Tripathi was also the highest paid president of a SUNY flagship university, making $159,693 more than the next highest paid president, University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez, who ranked 76th on Chronicle’s list with a salary of $626,503. Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger ranked 89th with a salary of $575,000. Maurice McInnis, the president of fellow-AAU member Stony Brook University, ranked 208th and took home the lowest salary of $319,701, although she didn’t become president until July 1, 2020. Her predecessor, Samuel Stanley Jr., made $746,517 in 2018 before stepping down in 2019 to become president of Michigan State University

In addition to his salary, Tripathi receives benefits including access to a 14,778 square-foot house owned by the UB Foundation, a car benefit, a “house assistant for maintenance and other household duties” and a membership to the Buffalo Club, a “distinctive and storied city club” in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood, according to The Chronicle, DellaContrada and the club’s website

Tripathi has had access to the house and car benefits since he became president but didn’t start receiving a Buffalo Club membership or “house assistant” until the 2015-16 school year, according to The Chronicle

The presidents of the other three SUNY universities also receive housing benefits, although none receive a “social club benefit” or “personnel services benefit” similar to the ones enjoyed by Tripathi, according to The Chronicle. Havidán and McInnis both receive car benefits; Stenger does not. 

Tripathi earned $113,996 less than he did in 2019, when he earned $900,192 due to a sharp increase in nontaxable benefits paid to him that year. But his 2020 salary still sits at $39,388 higher than his earnings in 2018, when he made $746,808. 

Tripathi placed 15th on Chronicle’s list of public university presidents’ salaries during the 2011-12 academic year, his first full one as president. It then gradually fell to 38th by the 2016-17 academic year and 50th by 2018. It reached 34th in 2019 before falling back to 40th in 2020.

The Spectrum also collected salary data from See Through New York for some of UB’s top earners and their counterparts at the other three SUNY “university centers.” The earnings listed here exclude salaries from SUNY-affiliated foundations and represent annual totals from 2020, unless otherwise noted due to recent personnel changes. 


  1. Michael Bernstein (former), Stony Brook University: $548,491
  2. A. Scott Weber, University at Buffalo: $440,785
  3. Donald Nieman, Binghamton University: $340,873
  4. Carol Kim, University at Albany: $338,781

Division I Head Football Coaches*:

  1. Lance Leipold (former), University at Buffalo: $686,845
  2. Chuck Priore, Stony Brook University: $424,180
  3. Greg Gattuso, University at Albany: $338,545
  4. Binghamton University: N/A

*Unlike the University at Albany and Stony Brook University, UB plays in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of Division I college football. 

Division I Head Basketball Coaches: 

  1. Jim Whitesell, University at Buffalo: $409,540
  2. Will Brown (former), University at Albany: $394,588
  3. Geno Ford, Stony Brook University: $376,970
  4. Tommy Dempsey, Binghamton University: $277,291

Vice Presidents for Research:

  1. Venugopal Govindaraju, University at Buffalo: $418,494
  2. Richard Reeder, Stony Brook University: $354,681
  3. Bahgat Sammakia, Binghamton University: $319,959
  4. James Dias, University at Albany: $249,184

Vice Presidents for Advancement and Philanthropy:

  1. Dexter Bailey, Stony Brook University (2018; since replaced by Justin Fincher): $459,296
  2. Fardin Sanai, University at Albany: $358,288
  3. Rod Grabowski, University at Buffalo: $351,147
  4. John Koch, Binghamton University: $241,595

Vice Presidents for Finance and Administration:

  1. Lyle Gomes, Stony Brook University: $355,890
  2. Laura Hubbard, University at Buffalo: $348,086
  3. Todd Foreman, University at Albany: $289,658
  4. Binghamton University: N/A

Deans of Colleges of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Nicole Sampson, Stony Brook University: $376,144
  2. Robin Schulze, University at Buffalo: $322,340
  3. Elizabeth Chilton, Binghamton University (2019): $300,141
  4. Jeanette Altarriba, University at Albany: $227,327

Deans of Schools of Management and Business:

  1. Paul Tesluk (former), University at Buffalo: $430,523
  2. Manuel London, Stony Brook University: $363,676
  3. Nilanjan Sen, University at Albany: $335,394
  4. Upinder Dhillon, Binghamton University: $320,833

Deans of Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences:

  1. Krishnaswami Srihari, Binghamton University: $449,835
  2. Fotis Sotiropoulos, Stony Brook University: $413,587
  3. Kemper Lewis, University at Buffalo: $346,223
  4. Kim Boyer, University at Albany: $285,085

Grant Ashley is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at 


Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 



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