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Statement from Robert J. Manning, Chairman, University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees

The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees seeks to set compensation at levels that are sufficient to attract and retain top administrators. We believe that strong and astute leadership is important to the 63,000 students of the University of Massachusetts system. We further believe that Jack M. Wilson has provided strong and astute leadership since becoming President in 2003.

As a general principle, the University seeks to provide compensation that would place top administrators at or near the 75th percentile in relation to national peers.

The recently released Chronicle of Higher Education public university executive compensation survey shows that President Wilson's compensation falls into this range, with President Wilson's total compensation in Fiscal Year 2009 ranking 50th out of the 185 public higher education executives surveyed.

Total compensation for the 10 most highly compensated public university executives ranged from Arizona State University President Michael Crow's compensation of $709,196 to Ohio State President Gordon Gee's $1,576,825. President Wilson's total compensation in Fiscal Year 2009 was $546,000.

We believe that this level of compensation is appropriate and is merited by President Wilson's strong performance. It is consistent with the University's compensation policies.

Several other factors are worthy of review:

  • In Fiscal Year 2008, President Wilson declined to accept a performance bonus that would have provided him with up to $54,000 in additional income
  • In December 2008, President Wilson, participating in a spending-reduction program, took a two-week furlough that resulted in the loss of $13,076 in income
  • President Wilson took an additional two-week furlough in December 2009, resulting in another loss of $13,076 in income
  • Although contractually entitled to salary increase of at least 3 percent during the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2009, President Wilson did not accept that increase and has said he will not accept a salary increase or any other compensation increase. President Wilson will refuse all future salary and compensation increases, including the one due this year, until such time as the faculty and staff receive increases.

The compensation increase President Wilson received in Fiscal Year 2009 was attributable to a Board of Trustees decision to convert a contractually stipulated performance bonus to base salary and to increase the President's retirement annuity contribution. Further, the percentage increase was attributable to President Wilson's decision to decline his performance bonus in Fiscal Year 2008.

These are steps that the Board of Trustees took based on President Wilson's performance and reflecting a philosophical desire to maintain presidential compensation at a nationally competitive level. The Board appreciates President Wilson's leadership and strong performance. I believe that the Board's actions with respect to the compensation of the President and of other senior leaders are wise and appropriate and are consistent with good management practices.

 


1/19/10

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Robert P. Connolly
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Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)
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