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Best-Paid Job in America: Getting Fired

Another year has come and gone, and once again we see rich severance packages being offered to failed senior administrators. The IRS 990 filing that non-profit corporations prepare each year has accounting details about fiscal 2013 (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013); it also covers salaries for the 2012 calendar year.

DHMC’s filing, according to the Valley News, notes that three top executives took home more that $3 million after a management “reorganization” left them without jobs. The big winner was former co-chief executive Nancy Formella. “In 2012, her compensation totaled $3.3 million and included $699,000 in base pay and $2.3 million in a ‘separation package … in lieu of a multi-year contractual obligation.’”

Translated into plain English, she was fired, and instead of getting a series of annual payments, she received all the money owed under her juicy contract in one lovely lump.

Dartmouth is more discreet when it gives the axe to incompetent senior people. While President Jim Wright, Executive Vice-President for Finance and Administration Adam Keller and Provost Barry Scherr all left their jobs in 2009, the gravy train continued for them at least through 2012, according to the College’s own Form 990. Look at the salaries and benefits that they took home in that year:

Wright 990 2012 Pay.jpg

The three ranked among the College’s top 20 salaried employees, even though they did no work. In 2012 Wright’s take totaled $574,342; Keller took in $365,994; and Scherr pocketed $373,542. That’s a total of $1,313,878 in salaries and benefits for three idle people.

Next year we’ll find out if these three made yet more dough in 2013, and we’ll also learn what Jim Kim and his crew of carpetbaggers (led by power couple CFO Steve Kadish and Chief Facilities Officer Linda Snyder) took the College for in the year after their own hasty departure from Hanover in 2012.

Meanwhile, in other news, the Choates dorms are in such disrepair that people are talking about the Town of Hanover finding that the structures do not meet building code. And the College has the second highest tuition in the Ivies.

Addendum: Out in the real world, when executives are fired because they didn’t get the job done, they are sent on their way. We pay for achievement, not failure.

Addendum: A longtime reader reports that Jim Wright is, in fact, teaching a seminar each year: History 96, America’s War & Those Who Fought.


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