This policy applies to the following senior executive positions within the University of Wisconsin System:

  • System President;
  • System Senior Vice Presidents;
  • System Vice Presidents;
  • Chancellors; and
  • Provosts/Vice Chancellors (deputy).


The purpose of this policy is to provide the framework used by the UW System Board of Regents to determine the salary ranges for senior executive positions and the process for setting and approving the salaries of senior executives.

Policy Statement

I. Establishment of Salary Ranges

Salary ranges for senior executive positions will be based on an analysis of salaries paid by peer institutions for similar positions at comparable universities in other states.

The following peer groups, identified by the 1984 Governor’s Faculty Compensation Study Commission, shall be used to determine the salary ranges for Chancellor and Provosts/Vice Chancellors (deputy) positions:


University of California-Berkeley; University of California-Los Angeles; University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; University of Texas-Austin; Ohio State University; Purdue University; University of Illinois-Urbana; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Indiana University-Bloomington; Michigan State University; University of Washington-Seattle.


Rutgers University-Newark; State University of New York-Buffalo; University of Cincinnati; Georgia State University; University of Texas-Dallas; University of Illinois-Chicago; Wayne State University; Cleveland State University; University of Toledo; University of Akron; Temple University; University of Louisville; University of Missouri-Kansas City; University of New Orleans.

All Other UW Institutions:

Eastern Illinois University; Western Illinois University; Northeastern Illinois University; Chicago State University; Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; University of Illinois-Springfield; Indiana University-Northwest; Indiana University-South Bend; Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne; University of Southern Indiana; Indiana University-Southeast; Purdue University-Calumet; University of Northern Iowa; Central Michigan University; Eastern Michigan University; Ferris State University; Grand Valley State University; Michigan Technological University; Northern Michigan University; Oakland University; Western Michigan University; Saginaw Valley State University; University of Michigan-Dearborn; University of Michigan-Flint; Bemidji State University; Minnesota State University-Mankato; Minnesota State University-Moorhead; St. Cloud State University; Winona State University; University of Minnesota-Duluth; University of Akron; Wright State University; Youngstown State University.

In addition, UW Chancellors have the authority to establish institution-specific peer groups if established peer groups do not completely address institutional needs.  However, peer groups for the purpose of setting ranges for senior executive positions covered by this policy must be either those indicated in this policy or, if different, approved by the UW System President.

The following university systems, which are similar in size and composition, shall be used to determine the salary ranges for the System President, Senior Vice President, and Vice President positions:  University of California, California State University System, State University of New York, City University of New York, University of North Carolina System, University of Florida System, University of Maryland System, and the University of Texas System.

The mid-point of each salary range will be set at 95% of the peer median salary to reflect the lower cost-of-living for Wisconsin as compared to other states.  The salary range will be 80% to 120% of the salary range midpoint as defined above and effective July 1 of the ensuing biennium.

After review of peer salary survey information, salary ranges shall be adopted for the ensuing biennium by resolution of a majority of the full membership of the Board of Regents in open session by roll call vote at a regularly scheduled meeting.

These salary ranges do not guarantee individual salary rates.  Individual salaries for University of Wisconsin System senior executives are based on numerous considerations at the time of hire and thereafter.

II. Authority to Approve Salaries

Wis. Stat. § 36.09(1)(e) directs the Board of Regents to fix the salaries of each Chancellor.  The starting salary for the System President and Chancellors must be approved by the Board of Regents at the time of hire.  The System President shall set the starting salary for an interim Chancellor appointment, after consultation with the Board of Regents President and Vice President; Board approval is required for interim appointments only when the salary is outside the established salary range approved by the Board of Regents.

The Board delegates to the System President the authority to set and approve the starting salary for newly hired Provosts/Vice Chancellors (deputy), Senior Vice Presidents, and Vice Presidents, provided the starting salary is within the salary range approved by the Board of Regents and not above 75% of the System President’s salary (RPD 6-3).  The System President further delegates the authority to set and approve new and interim Provosts/Vice Chancellors (deputy) salaries to UW Chancellors, provided the salaries are within the ranges approved by the Board of Regents and not above 75% of the System President’s salary (RPD 6-3).

Salary increases for the UW System President and continuing Chancellors will be awarded in conformance with the approved pay plan and approved by the Board of Regents when salary increases are considered for all other UW System employees.  At any other time, the Board of Regents may authorize salary increases to correct a salary inequity or recognize competitive factors as allowed by state statutes.

Salary increases for continuing Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents and Provosts/Vice Chancellors (deputy) will be awarded in conformance with the approved pay plan and approved by the System President unless the salary is above 75% of the System President’s salary (RPD 6-3).  The System President further delegates to the UW Chancellors the authority to approve Provosts/Vice Chancellors’ (deputy) pay plan and base adjustments within the ranges approved by the Board of Regents and not above 75% of the System President’s salary (RPD 6-3).

In addition, the Board delegates to the University of Wisconsin System President the authority and discretion to make a base adjustment up to a specified level within six to nine months of the date of hire for the other senior executives.  Exercise of the base salary increase is at the President’s discretion based on the performance of the individual in his/her new position.  This discretion provides the opportunity to reward outstanding performance during the initial period of employment.

Oversight, Roles & Responsibilities

On behalf of the University of Wisconsin System President, the UW System Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity is responsible for biennially surveying and analyzing data from the established peer institutions and systems used to determine salary ranges for senior executive positions.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws

Regent Policy Document 6-3
Regent Policy Document 6-4


History: Res. 5357, adopted 11/10/1989, created Regent Policy Document 89-7; Res. 6664, adopted 05/06/1994, rescinded and replaced Res. 5357 and created Regent Policy Document 94-4; Res. 8736, adopted 10/10/2003, amended Regent Policy Document 94-4. Regent Policy Document 94-4 was renumbered 6-5. Res. 9950, adopted 07/15/2011, amended Regent Policy Document 6-5; Res. 10283, adopted 10/11/2013, amended Regent Policy Document 6-5.