Columbia University paid the head of its endowment $3.8 million in 2017, a decline from the year earlier despite having promoted him to run the investment office.
Peter Holland's compensation fell 7.3% from 2016, driven in part by a cut in his performance bonus, according to the university's tax filing. Columbia has an $11 billion endowment.
Mr. Holland, who joined Columbia's endowment in 2003 from JPMorgan Chase & Co., was elevated to chief executive officer in October 2016 from chief investment officer. He succeeded N.P. 'Narv' Narvekar, who left for Harvard University.
Endowment chiefs at Ivy League and other elite schools are often the highest compensated employees at their institutions, surpassing even the presidents. Harvard paid Mr. Narvekar $9.25 million in 2017, which included $2.75 million of pay he forfeited when leaving Columbia. Yale University's David Swensen made $4.7 million. The generous packages have sometimes garnered criticism from student groups and alumni.
Mr. Holland's performance bonus dropped to $2.8 million in 2017 from about $3.2 million the year prior, while his base salary rose slightly, according to the filing.
Columbia reported in the tax return that Mr. Holland collected total compensation of $6.5 million in 2017. But the university said that figure was inflated by factors such as retirement and other deferred compensation.
The university's investment office produced an annual return of 8% over the decade through June last year, tying with Princeton University to lead the Ivy League. It has faltered more recently with a five-year return that was fifth among the eight Ivies.
Columbia has the 13th largest endowment in higher education, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.