Today’s New York Times featured an article describing cuts in compensation to leaders in the non-profit sector.  Two esteemed members of the Williams Art Mafia featured in the article, Glenn Lowry ’76 and Michael Govan ’85, are faring quite well (even after a steep salary cut in Lowry’s case) despite the recession [NB, the following block quote is derived from three different sections of the article, I just edited out the non-Eph materials]:

Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, earned $2.7 million in the year that ended in June 2008, including several one-time bonuses and the cost of his apartment in the tower beside the museum.But in the past 18 months these cultural executives and many others have frozen their salaries or taken cuts as arts budgets have shrunk. Mr. Lowry, for example, has twice agreed to salary reductions, and last year he received a package worth roughly half of what he took in during 2008.

Jerry I. Speyer, chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, where he is involved in setting Mr. Lowry’s compensation, said: “If you are lucky enough to have the best executive in the field, you should compensate the person accordingly. I think oftentimes boards are worried about the implication of a big salary and, frankly, I think that’s a mistake, because if you want your organization to be well run, you’ve got to find the person who can accomplish it.”

Institutions sometimes try to recruit leaders, and they boost compensation as one of their tools. In 2006 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art lured Michael Govan from the Dia Art Foundation in New York to be its director; a big enticement was a compensation package worth roughly $1 million a year.

“He wasn’t looking for a job,” said Eli Broad, the museum’s main benefactor. “We wanted him, and we had to induce him to leave where he was, and the financial package was a major part of that inducement.”

“It’s a market,” Mr. Broad continued. “You’ve got to be competitive.”

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