In an annual survey released in November, the Chronicle of Higher Education stated an increase in executive compensation for top national public and private universities.
The average compensation rate, which includes salary, car and housing benefits, and retirement benefits, was $427,400 for 184 top national public universities, according to the Chronicle. This represents a 7.6 percent increase from last year. The compensation figures included the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2008.
UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef was the third lowest paid chancellor in the UC system, making $315,000 in base salary and $339,666 in total compensation. Vanderhoef received car and housing benefits, as well as a retirement fund of $15,750.
The highest paid chancellor in the UC system was Robert Birgeneau of Berkeley, making $467,556 in total compensation. Only the chancellors of the Riverside and Santa Cruz campuses made less than Vanderhoef, the longest-serving chancellor in the UC system, in the 2007-2008 year.
The highest paid president of a public university last year was E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University, who made $1,346,225 in compensation, with a $310,000 bonus announced for him in November. Only Suffolk University, Northwestern and Columbia had higher paid presidents. All three are private universities.
The University of Washington’s president, Mark Emmert, had the second highest compensation figure in the 2007-2008 year, bringing in $887,870.
By contrast, the U.S. News and World Report’s most recent college rankings had UC Berkeley as the No. 1 ranked public university in the nation. UCLA was ranked third, UCSD ranked seventh, and Davis ranked 12th. Ohio State was ranked 19th and Washington ranked 11th.
UC regents spokesperson Trey Davis said the regents determine the compensation figures of UC presidents as well as university funding.
“UC chancellors‘ pay is determined by reviewing relative complexity, scope of campus operations and other ‘compensable factors‘ of each job, along with performance-related assessments,” Davis said. “If these factors are higher for one person than another, the one with the higher assessments should be paid the higher rates.“
Davis claimed these figures are far behind the national average.
“Unfortunately, UC chancellors‘ pay is significantly behind the market, when compared to the median pay at our comparator group of 26 public and private institutions,” he said.
Elizabeth Murray, a junior design major, was optimistic about Vanderhoef’s compensation.
“I have more respect for Vanderhoef because he doesn’t make as much as these other universities,“ Murray said. “As for the Ohio State guy, his compensation is ridiculous; totally superfluous. If you really care about your university, those bonuses could go to funding research.“
Daniel Weintraub, a junior community and regional development major, was skeptical of the compensation figures of other university presidents, such as Ohio State University.
“Those presidents have more money because of athletics, which is absurd,” he said.
Another possible reason could be the number of UC campuses in California, he said.
There are nine undergraduate UC campuses. Former UC President Robert Dynes, who retired this year, received $405,000 in base pay and $421,412.44 with benefits, according to the Sacramento Bee. Current UC President Mark Yudof will receive a base salary of $591,084 and a total compensation package valued at $828,000 this year.
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