Mississippi's Education and Research where the Institutions of Higher Learning has its offices. Credit: Molly Minta/Mississippi Today

The presidents of Mississippi’s three predominately white research institutions have seen their salaries balloon since 2008.

The presidents at University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University are now paid more than three times their peers at Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University.

This gap is mainly due to the foundations at UM and MSU increasing the amount they provide in salary supplements to the presidents. In 2008, UM’s foundation paid Robert Khayat, the president at the time, a salary supplement of $205,800. This year, Glenn Boyce received a supplement of $500,000 from the foundation.

Through a public records request, Mississippi Today received salary data for the presidents at all eight public universities going back to 2008. The data includes the amount each president received in a supplement from the university’s private, non-profit foundation, figures previously unavailable to the public in a comprehensive fashion.

As of 2021, all but one president – Jerryl Briggs at MVSU — now receive a salary supplement from their university’s foundation, according to the data. Briggs received a $10,000 supplement from MVSU’s foundation until 2019. When the supplement was discontinued, Briggs’s state salary was raised by the same amount to compensate.

Alex Rozier contributed to this story.

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Molly Minta covers higher education for Mississippi Today. She works in partnership with Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on investigating higher education. Originally from Melbourne Beach, Florida, Molly reported on public housing and prosecutors in her home state and worked as a fact-checker at The Nation before joining Mississippi Today. Her story on Mississippi's only class on critical race theory was a finalist for the Education Writers Association National Awards for Education Reporting in 2023 in the feature reporting category.