Wisconsin Public Radio

UWM Chancellor Gets 32% Pay Hike

Regents also hike UW-Madison chancellor pay 21.7%. Faculty leader protests decision.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Dec 21st, 2021 05:02 pm
UWM Sandburg Residence Halls. Photo by Christopher Hillard.

UWM Sandburg Residence Halls. Photo by Christopher Hillard.

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has approved increasing salary ranges for top university positions in order to match ranges at peer institutions. The vote Monday came after UW System interim President Tommy Thompson said he favors smaller, successive increases for top executive pay ranges.

Regents voted unanimously to raise the salary ranges for chancellors, provosts and UW System leaders. The range for the UW-Madison chancellor increased 21.67 percent, which sets a minimum of $600,126 and a maximum pay of $900,190. The range for the UW-Milwaukee chancellor position increased by 32 percent, setting a minimum pay of $451,440 and a maximum of $677,160.

Before the vote, Regent President Edmund Manydeeds said changing the salary ranges “doesn’t address or guarantee salary rates for any of the senior executives.” Instead, he said the intent was to align salary ranges with market data provided during a Dec. 9 board meeting.

At that meeting, UW System Administration suggested increasing salary ranges for Madison and Milwaukee chancellor positions by 9.5 percent, though market data showed market rates for those positions were 21.67 percent and 32 percent higher, respectively. Some regents balked at salary ranges being capped and not reflecting market data. Board members voted to table any decisions on salary ranges until a meeting in February.

On Monday, Manydeeds told the board he opted to take action on the revised salary ranges sooner because of searches underway for the next UW System president and UW-Madison chancellor.

“It’s important to attract and hire the best candidates for both positions,” Manydeeds said. “It’s critically important that we pursue competitive, market-based salary ranges for all positions in the UW System, as we have done with our Title in Total Compensation projects.”

At the start of Monday’s meeting, Manydeeds told members he received a phone call from Thompson reiterating his opposition to matching market rates for top executive positions all at once.

“He thinks that we should not go to the high end of these ranges, as you know,” Manydeeds said. “He had a recommendation. He thinks it’s prudent to do that in successive increases, not do it all at once.”

Manydeeds also said the Joint Committee on Employment Relations was set to take up a final approval of items, including a 2 percent pay increase for UW System employees Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Thompson said it was unclear if the committee would meet in time for the increases outlined in the state budget to go into effect by the start of January.

Doug Margolis is the chair of the faculty senate for UW-River Falls and a member of the faculty representatives to the UW Board of Regents. He said faculty on his campus were frustrated to learn about the new salary ranges for chancellors, provosts and other top system positions when other workers have been getting smaller increases that haven’t kept up with inflation. Margolis said unpaid furloughs assigned by chancellors after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Wisconsin and led to campus closures have added to that frustration.

“So, what we see from the bottom ranks here is that we really have two classes of people on campus and some might say more than that,” Margolis said. “But there’s the administrative class who are making real money, and then there’s the rest of us.”

Listen to the WPR report here.

Editors note: Wisconsin Public Radio is a service of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

UW Board of Regents approves significant increases to executive pay ranges was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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2 thoughts on “UWM Chancellor Gets 32% Pay Hike”

  1. sbaldwin001 says:

    I am angry this pay raise and the other UW System pay raises were announced when the students were off campus. I feel strongly these compensations are getting out of line, and the students, though their student governments, should have a chance to weigh-in. These compensations, and the pull they exert on faculty and other employee compensations, will directly impact student tuition and/or the services the university provides. I hope the student governments at each of the UW System extensions are preparing press releases of their views.

  2. NieWiederKrieg says:

    “””The range for the UW-Madison chancellor increased 21.67 percent, which sets a minimum of $600,126 and a maximum pay of $900,190.”””

    Now you know why nobody wants to work at grocery stores, fast food restaurants, gas stations, dollar stores, department stores, etcetera for $8-$15 dollars per hour with no benefits any more.

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