ST. LOUIS • The head of the Missouri History Museum, Robert Archibald, had a $90,000 salary in 1990.
By 1997, Archibald’s salary had risen to $185,000. Nine months later, the board of trustees added $20,000 more. The next year, it gave him another $9,000 in January, then $35,000 in October.
In total, Archibald got 11 raises between 1997 and 2008, often worth five figures, sometimes twice in one year. This past summer, the president of the board of trustees, V. Raymond Stranghoener, signed a new contract with Archibald for $375,000 in base pay for 2013.
Archibald also has an annual $33,000 housing allowance, a museum-paid minivan and yearly retirement payments — worth about $89,000 last year alone. He gets six weeks of leave each year for “historical research and writing,” which comes on top of four weeks of vacation. In previous years, he had eight weeks of vacation.
Then, this past July, the History Museum board spelled out the riches of one more perk. It agreed to pay Archibald for 410 unused vacation days, due as a lump sum upon his retirement. If Archibald were to retire at the end of this year, that check would come to $580,000.