Chart: Employee pay is biggest chunk of $782M Brown budget

Brown University President Ruth Simmons recently told Bloomberg the $5 million additional annual payment to the city that Providence Mayor Angel Taveras wants would be “crippling for the university.”

No one disputes that $5 million is a lot of money. But it’s also less than 1% of the $781.6 million that Brown spent in the 2009-10 academic year, according to the school’s most recent income tax filing. That raises the question: How does Brown spend all that money annually?

The biggest share by far is employee compensation – salaries, benefits and executive pay – which accounted for a combined 46% of the school’s spending in 2009-10. Grants and assistance come in a distant second at 13.6%. Here’s a breakdown of Brown’s spending in 2009-10 based on its tax returns:

You can’t really see them at the bottom, but Brown spent $603,692 on promotions and advertising; $346,083 on meetings, conventions and conferences; $325,000 on accounting; $245,930 on fundraising; and $148,850 on lobbying. The Corporation is meeting this weekend and will likely approve Brown’s 2012-13 budget.

Update: Brown spokeswoman Marisa Quinn wrote in to put some context around those numbers:

It is no surprise that the largest portion of the university’s budget is salaries and benefits. The work of the University is performed by its people – the faculty who teach and perform research and the staff who support this mission working with students and faculty, and ensuring that the university operates well and efficiently. This includes research assistants, construction managers, police and security, student life deans, dining services, librarians, coaches, etc. Brown is the 6th-largest employer in Rhode Island, and with 3,800
employees, is a stable employer even in uncertain times.

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