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Columbia Dermatology Prof Still Makes Much More Than PrezBo

 – Image via Gothamist

Last September, we reported that PrezBo made a cool $1.4 million in Fiscal Year 2007, and in November we learned that that number ranked him third among all university presidents in the country. Sounds respectable, right?

Well, maybe not: it turns out that Fearless Leader still is not the highest paid university employee. No, that honor once again goes to dermatology professor Dr. David Silvers, who received $4.3 million in compensation in FY 2007, second in the country only to some dude who draws arrows on blackboard for a living (USC head football coach Pete Carroll, who received $4.4 million for winning two national championships and being on national TV way pretty much every Saturday in the fall).

This is at least the fourth year in a row that Silvers has been Columbia’s highest paid employee, and he’s making it count: according to the Daily News, as of last year “he owns a $1.3 million Tribeca apartment, a Park Ave. home and a $1 million pad in Southampton.” Three houses – why, that’s more than Dr. Zizmor! Maybe he can spare a dime.


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  • what says:

    @what makes him worth that much?

    1. answer says:

      @answer beautiful, clear skin!

    2. professional says:

      @professional schools have to pay a salary comparable to the industry. Hence the reason law, medical, dental school profs make way more than some bro who studies ancient balinese music. go figure.

      1. this says:

        @this this really isn’t the main reason for the difference–for the most part those who study ‘ancient balinese music’ also don’t produce an output or product which is in as high demand to the public

        and @#7 did you really expect bwog to understand the preparation required of a top notch football coach?

  • clg says:

    @clg what would a subway ride be without staring at Dr. Zizmor’s flawless face?

  • OMG says:

    @OMG Thank you, Dr. Zizmor!

  • DHI says:

    @DHI Pete Carrol had 1 and a half national titles.

    1. Yes! says:

      @Yes! So true; a one-peat does not a dynasty make.

  • my dad says:

    @my dad is also a football coach, and i find it very offensive that you would minimize the job to drawing “arrows on a blackboard”… there’s a lot of hard work that goes into a job like that, as well as a lot of risk. not all respectable professionals have to be academics

  • ... says:

    @... i remember there was a big stink about some ucsf dermatology professor a few years back with a similarly outrageous salary.

    is the 4 million coming from university funds? no. the guy earns a base salary that is back in the realm of the reasonable. the remainder (or rather, bulk) is the result of him doing business (practice, consulting, etc) and the university doing his books.

  • Two things says:

    @Two things First, #7 – The author of this article was clearly being facetious when speaking about Pete Carroll’s job, as made obvious by the fact that his job included “winning two national championships and being on national TV way pretty much every Saturday in the fall”.

    Second, #9 – the NYTimes article is referring to compensation paid by the university, not any private practice money he might take in on the side. So, yes, the $4+ million is coming form university funds.

    1. patients says:

      @patients Columbia University has a medical center. Doctors treat patients at medical centers, and patients pay the medical center a lot of money to see the best doctors. It’s pretty easy to imagine why people are being paid millions not for their administrative skills, but for their medical expertise and revenue-generation for the university.

    2. ... says:

      @... here’s what the university of california press office had to say about their absurdly well paid (>$1mm/yr) dermatologist when the sf chronicle published uc salary data:

      # Philip Leboit, UCSF

      * Full salary paid by professional fees; received state funding for a portion of salary scale rate in prior two years
      * Internationally renowned expert in the diagnostic pathology of the skin, and in research and teaching related to skin disorders

      the chronicle got it wrong, i have no reason to believe the NYT wouldn’t make the same mistake. it also seems silly that columbia would choose to fund such a salary when it’s clear that the craft lends itself to self support through practice and consulting.

      many people seem to think that faculty “work” for universities. it doesn’t really work that way, academia is a hell of a lot more entrepreneurial than many people seem to realize…especially in departments that are linked to industry or directly do business with the general public.

  • Maybe its licensing fees says:

    @Maybe its licensing fees Does anyone know if they count licensing fees from patents? He’s probably paid a lucrative amount of money for creating the active ingredient in a few skin car products. An it would probably count as university compensation since patents are licensed through STV.

  • EAL says:

    @EAL Am I the only one who saw that picture and was immediately reminded of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg?

    I continue to stretch my arms out to a green light across the Hudson, but to no avail.

  • aren't says:

    @aren't football coaches like…glorified gym teachers? I always wondered what kind of school gym teachers go to… Do they take like, W4053: Advanced Dodgeball? or C1001x: Methods of Nerd Humiliation/ C1002y: General Assholing?

  • Alum says:

    @Alum Clinical professors who practice earn fees from their patients. When they practice at CUMC or other Columbia facilities, the university collects the fee, keeps a portion and gives the rest to the professor. That is how Prof. Silvers makes as much as he does. Other professors have similar arrangements, though they generate less money.

    Prof. Silvers could earn comparable fees out of a private office somewhere and CU wouldn’t get a cut, so the existing arrangement actually boosts Columbia’s financial bottom line.

    There may be several P&S professors who make more than Prof. Silvers, but they do so at private offices which are financially separate from the university.

  • open question says:

    @open question Quite a lot for a dermatologist to make, no? What’s the big deal with dermatologists anyway? Sure, they serve an important function— I do not deny that they do in fact save lives— but what makes them particularly special?

    1. uhhh says:

      @uhhh procedures == mucho dinero.
      procedures which ultimately improve outward appearance/ remove embarrassing features == (mucho dinero) x10.
      teh mathz: dey dun lie.

  • abroad student says:

    @abroad student I am in Europe for the semester, and checking Bwog only to see Dr. Zizmor’s eyesore of a subway ad made me feel so warm inside and nostalgic for the city…. the little things that make me miss ye, oh New York.

    now, had it been the bunion ad…

    1. eyesores says:

      @eyesores When you’re riding on the “metro” or the “tube,” just think for a moment about the smell of an old subway car, the overflowing garbage of the 96th street station, and the seats with etch marks and stains of undetermined origin.

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