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November 7, 1997
Contact: Peter D. Fox
(608) 262-6448


MADISON - For the first time since 1994, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved salary adjustments for chancellors of the 15 UW System institutions, four UW System officers and President Katharine C. Lyall, Regent President Sheldon B. Lubar announced today. "The future excellence of the UW System depends upon retaining excellent faculty and leadership for our institutions," he said.

"The Board of Regents took its action today following the Governor's signing of the 1997-99 biennial state budget based on its policy that executive compensation should 'reflect the duties and responsibilities borne by UW senior executive positions, the national market for higher education executives and local Wisconsin conditions,'" Lubar said. UW System executives were placed under a salary-freeze program for both years of the 1995-97 biennium.

"The salary adjustments approved today are consistent with board policy given the parameters established by the Governor and the Legislature," Lubar said. "However, I and the rest of the board remain concerned about the ability of the UW System to attract and retain quality executives when our compensation program is not competitive in the national market for the leaders of higher education."

Lubar continued: "The board has worked hard to keep faculty salaries competitive in a national environment. We should not do less for our executive leadership." Lubar said he looked forward to the results of a study of UW System executive salaries requested of the state Department of Employment Relations by Gov. Tommy G. Thompson. The DER study will focus on the competitive nature of executive compensation levels and will be forwarded to the Governor by Jan. 31, 1998.

An 'undesirable situation'

Regent policy calls for the mid-point of the senior executive salary range to be set at 95 percent of the average paid by comparable universities across the country.

"Based on that calculation, the UW System is not competitive," Lubar said. "For example, System President Lyall's salary of $149,179 - which has not been increased since June 1994 - lags well behind the average of $206,821 paid by other higher education systems and behind the Board of Regents target of $196,480.

"The same is true of our doctoral-campus chancellors," Lubar continued. "The current $129,720 salary of UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward, which has remained constant since 1994, seriously trails the $223,632 median salary of his peers nationally."

The UW-Milwaukee chancellorship, now under search, also is substantially below the competitive market, he noted. "While the current chancellor of Wisconsin's urban university earns $126,000, his peers on average receive $182,734."

Comprehensive-campus chancellors earn below minimum

"Even our most-senior comprehensive-campus chancellor receives a salary below the minimum established by regent policy," Lubar said. Other chancellors are earning from 5.1 percent to 13.3 percent below the minimum recommended by the regents.

Lubar continued: "This situation is difficult, particularly when reading just last month in the Chronicle of Higher Education that some presidents of private institutions in Wisconsin with enrollments of fewer than 2,000 students were earning significantly more than the chief executive officer of the state's public higher education system with an enrollment of more than 125,000 students. I make this comparison not to disparage the executive salaries paid elsewhere, but to demonstrate how UW System executive compensation lags regionally and nationally."

Concern with UW-Milwaukee search

Lubar said he had concerns about the regents' ability to fill the UW-Milwaukee position "with the quality of person we seek" at existing salary levels. He noted that searches also are underway at Wayne State University and the University of Texas-Dallas, two of UW-Milwaukee's peer institutions; it is expected that all three searches will draw from the same candidate pool. (David Adamany, former Wisconsin secretary of revenue and a former UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison faculty member, recently announced his resignation from his $186,576 presidency at Wayne State.)

"The action taken today by the Board of Regents is a first step in correcting Systemwide deficiencies in the executive compensation plan," Lubar said. "My regent colleagues and I look forward to working with the Department of Employment Relations, the Governor and the Legislature to ensure our University of Wisconsin System is properly positioned for the 21st Century."

The total executive payroll is 0.15 percent of the UW System budget.

The resolution approved by regents authorizes an average 3 percent increase for UW executives retroactive to July 1, 1997. The resolution also authorizes an average 1 percent "performance pool" to be distributed in January 1998 to complete the 4 percent pay plan awards authorized by the Legislature, with increases to individual vice chancellors, chancellors and system officers to be recommended by System President Lyall. Additional market adjustments up to 3 percent will be allowed at that time to recognize competitive factors, according to the resolution.

Salary adjustments approved Friday are:

OfficerNameCurrent salaryNew salary% increase
 Katharine Lyall$149,179$153,6543%
Senior vice presidents 
 David J. Ward120,000123,6003%
 David Olien (interim)120,000123,6003%
Vice president 
 Marcia Bromberg107,750110,9833%
 Margaret Lewis (interim)92,00092,000--
 David Ward (MSN)$129,720$140,3238%
 John Schroeder (MIL)126,000129,7803%
 Larry Schnack (EAU)113,500118,0814%
 Mark Perkins (GBY)105,450108,6143%
 Judith Kuipers (LAC)107,750110,9833%
 John Kerrigan (OSH)107,750110,9833%
 Gordon Lamb* (PKS)102,000102,000--
 David Markee (PLT)105,000108,1503%
 Gary Thibodeau (RVF)107,250111,5814%
 Thomas George (STP)110,000113,3003%
 Charles Sorensen (STO)107,750112,1064%
 Julius Erlenbach (SUP)102,700105,7813%
 Gaylon Greenhill (WTW)107,750110,9833%
 William Messner (COL)102,500105,5753%
 Albert Beaver* (EXT)110,000113,3003%
*Interim chancellor
Vice Chancellor 
 John Wiley *(MSN)$128,000$135,5246%
 Kenneth Watters (MIL)113,375116,7763%
 Marjorie Smelstor (EAU)99,999102,9993%
 Howard Cohen (GBY)99,960102,9593%
 Leo Lambert (LAC)99,500102,4853%
 Vicki Lord Larsen (OSH)99,999102,9993%
 John Ostheimer (PKS)97,00099,9103%
 Ralph Curtis** (PLT)98,880101,8463%
 Robert Milam (RVF)99,960102,9593%
 William Meyer*** (STP)100,000102,0002%
 George DePuy (STO)98,940100,9002%
 Charles Schelin**** (SUP)100,500100,500--
 Larry Davis** (WTW)99,50099,500--
 Marie Wunsch (COL)96,39099,3003%
 Kevin Reilly (EXT)100,000103,0003%
*Will receive a base-salary adjustment of $3,476 to bring his salary to $139,000 effective 11/1/97.
** Interim vice chancellor
***Appointed 5/15/97
****Appointed 8/1/97

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Attachment: "Senior Executive Salary Adjustments for 1997-98 on JCOER Approved 5% Increase to ESG 10 Maximum"