In an article late last week, Bloomberg BusinessWeek announced that President Shirley Ann Jackson was one of the most highly paid directors in 2008 of the largest 1,000 public companies in the United States. Citing data from Securities and Exchange Commission as compiled by Equilar, Jackson received $1,346,648 as payment for her service on the Boards of Directors of multiple companies, including the Public Services Enterprise Group, NYSE Euronext, Medtronic, FedEx, IBM, and Marathon Oil.
A statement from the President’s Office provided by Theresa Bourgeois said, “her record speaks for itself,” and that specifically, “having the leader of our Institute actively engaged at the highest levels in the key current issues of the day … only enhances her capability as a higher education leader at one of America’s top universities.”
In addition to her Board positions, Jackson serves on several advisory councils such as the U.S. Comptroller-General’s Advisory Committee for the Government Accountability Office and the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration. She was also appointed to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in 2009.
According to the article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on November 1, 2009, Jackson received $1,598,247 in the 2007–2008 fiscal year for her service as the president of Rensselaer. Noting that the published salary information preceded the economic downturn, Bourgeois stated that Jackson had donated 5 percent of her salary in fiscal year 2009–2010 to a student scholarship fund. Jackson’s cabinet complemented this by donating 2.5 percent of their salaries. The decision of Jackson and the cabinet to contribute was included in an announcement in Spring 2009 as part of the Institute’s response to the changes in the economic environment.