12/17/2014 update: The Johnson Hall central administration wants to argue we need to pay a lot to get a President, so that they can use that salary when justifying their own raises. Search firms have their own incentives. They are getting some pushback from the RG’s Editorial Board. Read it all here:
… The UO’s last president, Michael Gottfredson, was paid $544,000 a year plus a variety of attractive perks. … Most public members of the elite Association of American Universities in the West paid their presidents less in 2013 than Gottfredson received — an average of $387,000 at the five University of California system AAU members, and $422,333 at the University of Colorado. The University of Arizona was in the same ballpark as the UO. The outlier is the University of Washington, which paid $770,000, according to the Chronicle. The figures include deferred compensation, bonuses and retirement pay.
Yet some trustees are concerned that the UO will not be able to attract a suitable candidate at Gottfredson’s salary level, and are talking about some combination of pay and benefits in the $600,000 to $800,000 range. Connie Ballmer, who heads the board’s presidential search committee, said it’s “crystal clear from the search firm that we are way low.”
That depends on what the firm is searching for. At their first meeting trustees spoke as though the UO would need to persuade a talented leader to leave a secure and well-paid position to come to Eugene. That’s not necessarily the case. The UO’s next president could be, and perhaps should be, someone who hasn’t already broken into the academic big leagues — an ambitious administrator who sees an opportunity to make his or her mark at the UO.
… And then there’s that element of populism mentioned by Hart. As a public university, the UO should avoid offending public sensibilities with a presidential salary like that of a corporate CEO. The UO faculty and staff, on whose work any president’s success will depend, have long been underpaid relative to their peers, and should not be made to feel that the president is subject to a different set of expectations. Pushing the presidential salary into the stratosphere would be neither necessary nor politic.
If the board does this, they’ll presumably say it will be paid out of Foundation funds, as they did for Frohnmayer’s raises. I’m not sure why they think this makes it any more acceptable, but Lillis also made a point of noting this for Gottfredson’s $940K buyout.
12/15/2014: Job #1 for new UO Board: Pay president 150% of comparators, and faculty 88%?
President Lariviere famously said that for him, job #1 was to get UO faculty salaries to the average of our AAU comparators. He meant it, he gave out raises, and a year or so later the OUS Board fired him. That was one step in the process that led to legislative approval of a new independent UO board.
So what is job #1 for that new UO Board? Shift UO’s scarce resources to the faculty, or keep spending them on administrative bloat?
That’s the question raised during Friday’s meeting of the UO Board’s Presidential Factors Committee, chaired by UO Trustee Ginevra Ralph.
Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, here:
University of Oregon trustees are mulling whether to use the tools of business to recruit, sign and retain a new president to run the UO.
They’re kicking around ideas such as a signing bonus, pay-for-performance compensation, use of a jet for work trips, penalties for early departure and/or deferred compensation — perhaps totaling $600,000 to $800,000 annually. That would handily top the $544,000 annual package of previous president Michael Gottfredson.
“Clearly, (incentives are) used in worlds we come from,” said Connie Ballmer, chairwoman of the UO Board of Trustees’ presidential search committee.
Gottfredson’s pay rate won’t get a top-caliber candidate to the UO, she said. It’s “crystal clear from the search firm that we are way low,” she said.
Trustee Susan Gary, a law professor who represents faculty on the UO Board, suggests a more earth-bound approach, such as scaling the president’s pay to faculty salaries, which average roughly $100,000 a year.
Despite Lariviere’s efforts, and the efforts of the new UO faculty union, UO faculty salaries are still at the bottom of the AAU, while UO’s Senior Administrators continue to pile on the pork:
UO’s Institutional Research office has posted the comparison of UO salaries to AAU averages, by department and rank, here. Who is at the absolute bottom? I’m no economist, but it’s UO Economics, at 74%:
OK, I’m exaggerating. There are a few small departments at 73%, and a few others tied for 74%. But whatever – UO administrators are doing more than fine: