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:

Officer Name Current salary New salary % increase
Katharine Lyall $149,179 $153,654 3%
Senior vice presidents
David J. Ward 120,000 123,600 3%
David Olien (interim) 120,000 123,600 3%
Vice president
Marcia Bromberg 107,750 110,983 3%
Margaret Lewis (interim) 92,000 92,000
David Ward (MSN) $129,720 $140,323 8%
John Schroeder (MIL) 126,000 129,780 3%
Larry Schnack (EAU) 113,500 118,081 4%
Mark Perkins (GBY) 105,450 108,614 3%
Judith Kuipers (LAC) 107,750 110,983 3%
John Kerrigan (OSH) 107,750 110,983 3%
Gordon Lamb* (PKS) 102,000 102,000
David Markee (PLT) 105,000 108,150 3%
Gary Thibodeau (RVF) 107,250 111,581 4%
Thomas George (STP) 110,000 113,300 3%
Charles Sorensen (STO) 107,750 112,106 4%
Julius Erlenbach (SUP) 102,700 105,781 3%
Gaylon Greenhill (WTW) 107,750 110,983 3%
William Messner (COL) 102,500 105,575 3%
Albert Beaver* (EXT) 110,000 113,300 3%
*Interim chancellor
Vice Chancellor
John Wiley *(MSN) $128,000 $135,524 6%
Kenneth Watters (MIL) 113,375 116,776 3%
Marjorie Smelstor (EAU) 99,999 102,999 3%
Howard Cohen (GBY) 99,960 102,959 3%
Leo Lambert (LAC) 99,500 102,485 3%
Vicki Lord Larsen (OSH) 99,999 102,999 3%
John Ostheimer (PKS) 97,000 99,910 3%
Ralph Curtis** (PLT) 98,880 101,846 3%
Robert Milam (RVF) 99,960 102,959 3%
William Meyer*** (STP) 100,000 102,000 2%
George DePuy (STO) 98,940 100,900 2%
Charles Schelin**** (SUP) 100,500 100,500
Larry Davis** (WTW) 99,500 99,500
Marie Wunsch (COL) 96,390 99,300 3%
Kevin Reilly (EXT) 100,000 103,000 3%
*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

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


Peter D. Fox
(608) 262-6448