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Ex-Harvard endowment chief earned nearly $10 million in 2013

Jane Mendillo earned $9.6 million in 2013, twice her pay the previous year. Harvard University

Jane Mendillo, the former chief of Harvard University’s endowment, earned $9.6 million in 2013, twice her pay the previous year, amid mediocre investment results for the nation’s largest college endowment.

Stephen Blyth, the $36.4 billion endowment’s new chief executive, was its highest paid manager in 2013, with earnings of $11.5 million, according to the university’s annual tax filing, which, like those of other nonprofits, is generally filed a year late. Blyth was Harvard’s head of public markets investments before succeeding Mendillo on Jan. 1 this year.

Meanwhile, Harvard president Drew Faust earned $1.1 million, up 7 percent from 2012.

Faust’s compensation has grown 24 percent over the past three reported years and increased steadily over her eight years as president, but she is not the highest-paid university president in the region. Boston University president Robert A. Brown, for instance, earned $1.4 million in 2012, the same year Faust’s pay topped $1 million for the first time.

Faust earned a base salary of $779,283 in 2013. She received the rest of her compensation as benefits, including a presidential home in Cambridge, retirement contributions, and other pay.

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Harvard uses income from its endowment to cover 35 percent of its operating costs, compared with 20 percent from students. Other schools rely far more heavily on tuition.

Together, Harvard’s six top-earning endowment executives earned $49.3 million in 2013, paychecks that make them the highest-compensated executives in their field, despite middling investment returns over the last 5- and 10-year periods.

Harvard’s return for the fiscal year ended June 30 was 15.4 percent, lagging all the Ivy League schools and other large, elite institutions tracked by Charles Skorina & Co., a West Coast executive search firm.

Yale earned the best investment return in the group last year, at 20.2 percent. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology endowment posted a 19.2 percent gain and its director, Seth Alexander, made $1.1 million in 2011, according to the report.

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While MIT has quietly climbed to the top of the endowment pack in terms of investment performance, Harvard has experienced relatively high turnover amid its average results.

Mendillo, who ran the Harvard fund for six years, took over just ahead of the financial crisis and steered a fund that had taken on too much risk through a rocky period. Blyth, her successor, is now charged with boosting the endowment’s performance.

With an 8.9 percent investment gain over 10 years, Harvard ranked 10th out of the 13 top schools in the Skorina report, published last November. Columbia University and Yale University were at the top, with 11 percent annual returns; the $12.4 billion MIT endowment was close behind at 10.9 percent a year.

Elsewhere in the 127-page Harvard filing, the university reported details about other pay and benefits to faculty.

The university provides houses for the provost and deans of the business and arts and science schools. It also has issued loans to some employees, including a $1.2 million home loan to professor Julio Frenk, dean of Harvard’s School of Public Health. Steven Hyman, a professor and former provost, also has a $750,000 home loan. Several others have loans to finance their children’s educations.

Harvard paid $468,180 in severance, equal to a year’s salary, to former professor William Chin, the tax filing shows. Chin left in July 2013 for a job with a pharmaceutical trade group in Washington, D.C., after three years at Harvard Medical School as dean for research.

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Chin presided over research at the medical school during a difficult time, when the school ran an operating deficit, was mired in problems stemming from the primate research center, and as federal funding for biomedical research decreased.


Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.