October 31, 2014

UW Board of Regents votes to expand pay ranges

The UW System Board of Regents has signed-off a new salary plan for top officials. Action taken by the board Friday during its meeting at the UW-Parkside updates and expands the salary ranges for top positions within the system.

System spokesman David Giroux says it also calls for revising them every two years, so they can remain competitive. Giroux says some those ranges had not been updated since 2006 or 2007, making the market-based system very out of date when compared to what peer universities are offering.

Giroux says the larger starting salary range gives officials more options when trying to attract top talent. He says “we wanted a larger range, that would allow the regents more flexibility to account for things like the individual’s years of UW service and their experience elsewhere, along with the scope of their responsibilities.”

Regents also approved pay raises for 10 of 14 UW campus chancellors, averaging about 3.3 percent. For most of those, it was their first raise in five years.

The changes have drawn some criticism from state lawmakers, with Republican Representative Steve Nass of Whitewater calling board members “out of touch” for increasing already high salaries, at a time when many families are still struggling financially. Giroux counters that, when you look at what other university presidents and chancellors are making, UW officials were making less than their peers at other universities and now “they’re in the ballpark” following Friday’s action.