Interim UMHS chief ranks as University's highest paid executive

By Allana Akhtar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 22, 2014

Michael Johns, interim chief executive officer for the University of Michigan Health System, is the highest paid University of Michigan employee, according to the University’s annual salary report released Monday.

Johns makes $769,080, which is $15,275 more than the 2013 salary of Ora Pescovitz, the former UMHS chief who stepped down in March.

University President Mark Schlissel is the second highest paid employee, earning $750,000 this year.

Schlissel’s base pay is almost 25 percent higher than that of his predecessor Mary Sue Coleman. Before retiring earlier this year, Coleman earned a base pay of $603,000, with her total compensation package topping $1 million.

According to a report published by the Chronicle of Higher Education in May, Coleman was the ninth highest paid public university president in the nation.

Schlissel is paid comparatively higher than other peer state-funded institutions.

Rodney Erickson, president of Pennsylvania State University, earned $529,170 in 2013. Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon made $520,000 in fiscal year 2014 and Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system, whose base salary is $570,000.

However, former president of Ohio State University E. Gordon Gee was the top paid public university president last year.

Jim Hackett, the interim athletic director who took the helm after former Athletic Director Dave Brandon’s resignation in October, ranked as the University’s fifth highest paid employee, making $600,000 this year.

Before his resignation, Brandon was set to earn $900,000 in base pay this year.

According to a press release, merit salaries for executive officers increased this year by 2.3 percent.

Many University employees take home a larger paycheck than reflected by their base salaries, including several executive officers and head coaches, though the Monday's listing includes only base pay.

The data also reports a 1.5 percent increase in mean salaries for professors and a 2.2 percent salary increase for all staff.

The mean salary for professors at the Ann Arbor campus is $161,511, compared to $109,212 at the UM-Dearborn and $105,760 at UM-Flint.

The top-ten highest paid University employees:

1. Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, Michael Johns
2014-15 salary: $769,080

2. University President, Mark Schlissel
2014-15 salary: $750,000

3. Interim Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas Strong
2014-15 salary: $639, 849

4. Dean of the Medical School, James Woolliscroft
2014-15 salary: $610,611

5. Interim Athletic Director, James Hackett and Chief Investment Officer, Erik Lundberg
2014-15 salary: $600,000

7. Dean of the Ross School of Business, Alison Davis-Blake
2014-15 salary: $597,212

8. Dean of the School of Engineering, David Munson Jr.
2014-15 salary: $507,589

9. Former Dean of the Law School, Evan Caminker
2014-15 salary: $487,147

10. Vice President for Development, Jerry May
2014-15 salary: $471,500