MADISON — The Executive Committee of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, meeting via teleconference, today approved annual salary levels for the chancellors, vice chancellors and senior officers of the UW System. Pay plan increases are retroactive to July 1, 2001 under a plan approved in October by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations.

According to Regent President Jay L. Smith, the salary increases are funded by existing pay plan dollars as well as money reallocated from the base budget. “There will be no increase in tuition or tax dollars to provide these salaries,” said Smith.

The new salaries are the first to be set utilizing management flexibility granted to the board by the legislature and governor in the 2001-03 biennial budget. By statute, salary range authority for 20 specific senior level positions was shifted to the board from the Department of Employment Relations and the Joint Committee on Employment Relations.

This change is intended to ensure that the UW System can attract and retain top executive talent at a time when the demands placed on these leaders, such as private fundraising, involvement in local and regional economic development, and greater accountability reporting, are increasing. Covered by the change are all 15 chancellors, the vice chancellors at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, the two System senior vice presidents, and the System president.

Today’s actions bring executive salaries more in line with the competitive national market for university leadership, said Smith. Even so, “our assigned salaries fall below the midpoint of our very conservative ranges. After addressing the five most serious cases, the total increase for all other UW executives is 3.2%, the same as the average increase for faculty and academic staff.”

Smith said the president should rightly be the highest paid senior executive in the UW System, noting “the president manages a complex organization with an annual budget in excess of $3 billion, more than the revenues of the Kohler Company, for example. The board’s actions correct other discrepancies,” he said, “including bringing all individuals at least to the minimum of their range and compensating for several salaries that were frozen for two years or more.”

The board’s longstanding policy is that System leaders should be paid, whenever possible, within an established salary range tied to peer data. Comparative peer data show other public universities paid an average of $302,000 or more last year to system and research university presidents, and an average of $170,000 to comprehensive university presidents, said Smith.

The following list reflects the actions taken today by the board:

Name Title Institution 2001-02 Salary
Katharine Lyall President UW System $299,000
Cora Marrett Senior V.P. UW System $220,000
David Olien Senior V.P. UW System $199,000
John Wiley Chancellor UW-Madison $298,250
Nancy Zimpher Chancellor UW-Milwaukee $215,000
Donald Mash Chancellor UW-Eau Claire $168,000
Bruce Shepard Chancellor UW-Green Bay $152,070
Douglas Hastad Chancellor UW-La Crosse $153,000
Richard Wells Chancellor UW-Oshkosh $153,000
John Keating Chancellor UW-Parkside $153,000
David Markee Chancellor UW-Platteville $155,500
Ann Lydecker Chancellor UW-River Falls $153,000
Thomas George Chancellor UW-Stevens Point $155,500
Charles Sorensen Chancellor UW-Stout $168,000
Julius Erlenbach Chancellor UW-Superior $154,000
John Miller Chancellor UW-Whitewater $153,000
William Messner Chancellor UW Colleges $155,000
Kevin Reilly Chancellor UW Extension $155,000
Peter Spear V. Chancellor UW-Madison $220,000
John Wanat V. Chancellor UW-Milwaukee $180,000
Other Executives
Deborah Durcan V. President UW System $134,500
Linda Weimer V. President UW System $137,000
Ronald Satz V. Chancellor UW-Eau Claire $126,300
Carol Pollis V. Chancellor UW-Green Bay $115,000
Ronald Rada V. Chancellor UW-La Crosse $113,384
Keith Miller V. Chancellor UW-Oshkosh $125,000
Kenneth Watters V. Chancellor UW-Parkside $115,000
Carol Sue Butts V. Chancellor UW-Platteville $124,000
Virginia Coombs V. Chancellor UW-River Falls $122,000
William Meyer V. Chancellor UW-Stevens Point $124,000
Robert Sedlak V. Chancellor UW-Stout $126,300
Charles Schelin V. Chancellor UW-Superior $124,000
David Prior V. Chancellor UW-Whitewater $124,000
Margaret Cleek V. Chancellor UW Colleges $124,000
Marvin Van Kekerix V. Chancellor UW Extension $127,000

Note: John Wiley’s salary includes amounts received from the UW Foundation for personal services rendered outside of his duties as chancellor.

UW System Board of Regents Established Salary Ranges, 2001-02

Position Minimum Midpoint Maximum 2001-02 Salary as % of Peer Median
President $269,072 $298,969 $328,866 95.0%
Senior Vice Presidents $198,825 $220,917 $243,008 85.6% to 94.6%
Doctoral Chancellors (Madison) $271,028 $301,142 $331,257 94.1%
Doctoral Chancellors (Milwaukee) $194,735 $216,372 $238,009 94.1%
Comprehensive Chancellors $151,343 $168,159 $184,974 85.9% to 94.9%
Doctoral Vice Chancellors (Madison) $197,402 $219,336 $241,270 95.3%
Doctoral Vice Chancellors (Milwaukee) $169,193 $187,992 $206,791 91.0%
Vice Presidents $132,681 $147,424 $162,166 86.7% to 88.3%
Comprehensive Vice Chancellors $113,384 $125,982 $138,580 86.7% to 95.8%
  • The ranges set earlier this year by the Board of Regents for each position reflect national market data for peer institutions. The midpoint is set at 95% of the peer median. The minimum is set at 90% of this midpoint, while the maximum is set at 110% of this midpoint.
  • The ranges for vice presidents and comprehensive vice chancellors are recommended by the secretary of the Department of Employment Relations and approved by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations.

Comparative Data for UW System President

Peer Multicampus Systems 2000-01 CEO Salary
University of Texas System $355,000
University of California System $349,100
University of Maryland System $342,317
City University of New York $250,000
California State University System $305,340
University of North Carolina System $299,860
State University System of Florida $264,600
State University of New York $250,000
Median Salary: 8 Peer Systems $302,600


Comparative Data for UW-Madison Chancellor

Peer Universities 2000-01 CEO Salary
University of Minnesota $335,000
University of Michigan $326,550
University of Texas-Austin $311,000
Purdue University $305,000
University of California-Los Angeles $304,800
University of California-Berkeley $304,800
University of Washington $285,000
Ohio State University $275,004
University of Illinois-Urbana $243,860
Indiana University $230,300
Michigan State University $216,000
Median Salary: 11 Peer Universities $304,800

Media Contact

Kevin Boatwright UW System 608-263-2227