UT-Austin president to get a 3% raise in '04

Faulkner's total compensation, with perks, will top $464,000

By Sharon Jayson and Jennifer Barrios
Friday, August 8, 2003

SAN ANTONIO -- University of Texas President Larry Faulkner will get a 3 percent pay raise in January as part of a $7.8 billion UT System budget given final approval Thursday.

Faulkner's base salary will climb to $260,821. In addition, his deferred compensation, which allows him to postpone paying taxes, will rise $3,000 to $93,000, bringing his total cash compensation to $353,821.

This year, with perks such as an $8,400 car allowance, a $78,000 housing supplement and $5,313 for club memberships, Faulkner is making more than $453,755. He can expect that total to rise to $464,352 next year.

The pay raise was unveiled during the Board of Regents' two-day meeting in San Antonio. The 2004 budget becomes effective Sept. 1.

According to a 2002-03 compensation survey, the median base salary for university presidents at colleges with similar budgets and degree programs was $296,400. The data was collected by CUPA-HR, formerly known as the College and University Personnel Association.

What university officials have called tight budget times prompted them to delay merit pay raises until January. Faculty and staff at UT-Austin will get 3 percent merit raises. Administrative employees at the UT System will get 2 percent merit raises.

Sometime in the next year, Faulkner's package will include a new item: an estimated cash payment of $16,000 to $18,000 for a part-time housekeeper. The system's 14 other campus presidents also will get the payment under a policy approved Thursday. The system now provides housekeeping services for most of its leaders, including Faulkner.

"People don't realize most of our presidents work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have enormous personal pressures on them to do things for their institution," regent Chairman Charles Miller said.

Sheldon Steinbach, general counsel with the Washington, D.C.-based American Council on Education, called the housekeeping payment "reasonable by Washington standards, possibly inadequate." He said university presidents frequently entertain at home as part of their jobs.

Kristen Avery, manager of a Merry Maids that covers South and Central Austin, estimated that it would cost about $85 to $90 per visit to clean an average three- to four-bedroom home every other week. That adds up to less than $2,500 per year for sanitizing the bathrooms and kitchen and dusting rooms from top to bottom. Housing stipends for system presidents are based on a 4,100-square-foot residence.

UT Chancellor Mark Yudof received a state pay raise earlier this year of $9,000 that he donated to an endowment. His overall compensation package is $641,139. Previously, his salary package included a one-time payment of $172,580 for retirement benefits he forfeited when he left the University of Minnesota last year.

UT officials have faced criticism from legislators over executive salaries, but Yudof said competition is fierce.

"I don't begrudge them salaries because you're going to lose them to the private sector," he said. "And then there are other public sector opportunities."


sjayson@statesman.com; 445-3620