Three chancellors get raises

Thanks to a motion passed by the UW System Board of Regents on Nov. 10, three UW System chancellors and one provost recently received pay raises.

According to a UW System press release, UW-Platteville Chancellor David Markee, UW-Stout Chancellor Charles Sorensen, UW-Superior Chancellor Julius Erlenbach and Platteville Provost Carol Butts received pay raises of $13,551, $10,868, $5,051 and $6,500, respectively.

“(The raises are) based on market factors and performance,” said Doug Bradley, UW System director of communications, adding the salaries of chancellors at non-UW institutions, as well as several other factors, were taken into consideration when making the decision.

Bradley said the salaries of UW chancellors lag behind the salaries of their out-of-state peers by about 15 percent.

Doug Mell, communications director at UW-Stout, said the goal of the UW System isn’t to get the salaries of its leaders above those of their peers, but to get their salaries to the median.

“The problem is, even with this increase, they’re still going to be below the median,” Mell said.

But the problem isn’t just among chancellors. Bradley said all levels of employees within the UW System, including faculty members and academic staff members, currently lag behind their out-of-state peers.

Faculty and academic staff, Bradley said, are behind by about 8 to 15 percent.
Mell said salaries of staff are going up, but not by enough.

“(Salaries) get increased,” Mell said, adding the System just isn’t keeping up with its peers. To close the salary gap between UW faculty and non-UW faculty, Mell said salaries would have to increase 7.35 percent a year for two years.

But Fredric Kolb, professor of economics at UW-Eau Claire, said salaries are only part of the equation, adding the quality of the work environment, the quality of fellow co-workers and the quality of the students weigh on professors’ minds as well.

It’s a total package, Kolb said, adding it’s about more than just money.

“If the faculty members don’t feel that the package is satisfactory, then they would be leaving,” Kolb said. “Everybody’s going to want more money. To see whether it’s enough, you just look to see if people are leaving.”
Kolb said he is satisfied with his current situation.

“I would say the environment here is excellent,” he said. “There are great students here. They are worth taking a small pay cut.”