UT-Austin President Larry Faulkner's Paycheck
As the UT Board of Regents met on August 8, 2002, a number of issues were discussed. One of their top priorities was the declining state funds and tuition deregulation (coincidence?). Aside from this, they also decided to give President Larry Faulkner and Football Head Coach Mack Brown pay raises. At the time head football coach Mack Brown was earning around $1.7 million per year, while Faulkner was receiving a little more than $152,000 including housing and car allowances in addition to deferred compensation. This was roughly a $20,000 raise, around twice the amount staff workers make. While the staff continues to work multiple jobs in addition to their underpaid full-time UT job, the Board of Regents found it in their hearts to give their exceedingly high-paid friends raises.
In September 2004, following on the heels of a $70 million tuition increase (a 25% hike in two years), the Regents approved yet another raise for Faulkner, putting his salary at $483,047 a year plus a housekeeper, car, more than $5,000 in club membership dues, and two complimentary football tickets a year. At 5%, the President's raise was substantially greater than any other individual on campus. Many staff and faculty salaries actually declined when adjusted for inflation despite the windfall of $70 million in new tuition revenue.
"...After the 2001-02 legislative budget was approved, President Faulkner complained to The Daily Texan of a $15 million dollar gap in the budget. Then, in September, he alluded to financial concerns in his State of the University address but gave no indication of the "magnitude of the numbers." It turns out that the core budget lacks somewhere in the ballpark of $500 million over the next five years. One would think that a man who gets paid $432,000 a year to run the nation's largest university might foresee a five-year, $500 million dollar budget shortfall..."
"...For starters, UT administrators haven't asked for the money. At the 2001-2002 legislative session, Faulkner and Co. reported only a $5.4 million shortfall in general revenues! Almost half of the funding increase they requested was for rising utility costs. Lawmakers must think everything is hunky dory up here since energy prices are back down. Why didn't President Faulkner give them the so-called realistic view that he has overwhelmed us with in the past month: $500 million needed over the next five years?
Instead of asking for funds to solve the budget crisis, Faulkner spent his energy pushing the Legislature to deregulate tuition, a policy that would give the Board of Regents the power to set tuition rates. This sends a strong message to state officials that the University will seek funds from anywhere other than the state. Not the best message to send to a body that has historically underfunded its flagship school. Faulkner has a nose for private money."
From Daily Texan articles, 1/31/2002 & 2/12/2002, by David Peterson & Forrest Wilder