Keep this in mind for the next time someone at Yale brings up income inequality.

Melissa Korn of the Wall Street Journal reports.

Yale Gives Former Leader $8.5 Million Payout

Yale University made a special $8.5 million payment to former president Richard C. Levin, an unprecedented lump-sum payout highlighting the increasingly lucrative compensation for leaders at the nation’s top universities.

The “additional retirement benefit,” distributed after Mr. Levin stepped down at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, was disclosed in Yale’s latest federal tax return, filed Friday.

Mr. Levin, an economist, oversaw major construction projects at Yale’s New Haven, Conn., campus, global expansion and large fundraising appeals in his 20 years as president. The Ivy League university’s endowment grew to $19.4 billion from $3.2 billion during his tenure.

Mr. Levin declined to comment through a Yale spokesman. He became chief executive of Coursera, an online education company, last spring.

At Yale, Mr. Levin earned $1.15 million in total compensation in 2013, and $1.38 million the prior year. He was one of three dozen private-college presidents to earn seven figures in 2012, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., took the top earnings spot in 2012. Mr. Levin came in 10th for overall compensation, and third in terms of base pay.