Despite the fact that during his time as the president of New Jersey’s Rutgers University the school canceled scheduled pay raises and the froze the salaries of all campus employees, explaining that it was facing an “extreme fiscal crisis” and was not required to honor the contract with employees it had agreed to earlier in the year, Richard McCormick is rather generously compensated. He currently makes $550,000 a year.

He will continue to be well paid, even though he’ll now be working as a mere history professor. According to an article by Kelly Heyboer in The Star-Ledger:

When Rutgers President Richard McCormick steps down next year to return to teaching history, he will be the highest paid professor at the state university, campus officials said Tuesday.

But McCormick’s new $335,000-a-year paycheck wasn’t the result of a long negotiation. Instead, it was set in 2002, when a sentence was inserted into the six-page hiring agreement he signed when he was selected as Rutgers’ new president.

That’s because McCormick’s contract specifies that if he leaves the presidency and returns to teaching he will earn “no less” than the highest paid faculty member.

That would be political science professor Norman Samuels, who apparently earns $320,000 a year.

McCormick announced his resignation Tuesday. He will take a sabbatical next year and return to teach history at Rutgers in 2013.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer