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Harvard president Lawrence Bacow earned more than $1.1 million in 2020

That was a slight decrease from the previous year, according to the university’s latest financial filing.

People sat on the steps of Widener library.Craig F. Walker

Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow, earned more than $1.1 million during the 2020 calendar year, according to an annual tax document filed Friday by the school.

Bacow’s compensation in 2020 — a time when students and faculty had to leave campus early because of the COVID-19 pandemic — dipped slightly from more than $1.2 million in 2019.

The Internal Revenue Service requires nonprofit organizations such as Harvard to submit an annual tax filing called a Form 990, which discloses compensation for the university’s highest-paid officers and faculty members, among other financial information. The document represents fiscal year 2021, but compensation reported covers the 2020 calendar year.


In April 2020, Harvard announced a wave of immediate salary freezes and said that top administrators, including Bacow, would take a 25 percent cut in salary to counter the financial effects of the pandemic. While the president’s overall compensation did not fall by 25 percent from 2019 to 2020, the number reported includes base salary, as well as benefits such as housing and Harvard’s contributions to his insurance and retirement.

Since the salary cut went into effect in April 2020, the full impact would not be apparent in the document published Friday.

Professors V. Kasturi “Kash” Rangan and Lynn Paine, both of Harvard Business School, were the top-earners in 2020, due to Harvard’s voluntary retirement incentive plan for tenured faculty. Both received about $2 million.

The only other person that earned more than Bacow was computer science professor David Malan, who earned $1.4 million in 2020.

Harvard Management Company, which oversees the university’s endowment, also filed its annual tax filing Friday. During the 2021 fiscal year, Harvard received more than $2 billion from its endowment, income that represents more than one-third of its annual operating revenue.

“Harvard’s endowment plays an increasingly vital role in supporting the University’s mission of research and teaching,” said Paul Finnegan, chairman of HMC’s board of directors, in a press release. “From record levels of financial aid to filling funding gaps that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the endowment allows Harvard to realize its academic aims.”


In addition to financial aid, Harvard said, money went toward areas that included academic programs, faculty support, and scientific research.

Anissa Gardizy can be reached at anissa.gardizy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8 and on Instagram @anissagardizy.journalism.