Schlissel's salary totals $823,523 after third pay raise—still lags behind peers

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 4:51pm

The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted unanimously to give University President Mark Schlissel another pay raise for the third year in a row Thursday afternoon.

Retroactively effective Sept. 1, Schlissel’s salary will rise by 3.5 percent, resulting in an increase from $795,675 to $823,523.

At the beginning of the meeting, Regent Andrew Richner, R-Grosse Pointe, applauded Schlissel, who is entering his fourth year of leadership this year. Richner offered a positive performance review of Schlissel, praising the president’s focus on academic excellence, student affordability and the University's record applicant number. 

"We think you're doing a great job,” Richner said.

The five-year contract Schlissel signed in 2014 allows for the regents to increase his salary as they see fit. In 2015 and 2016, he received identical pay raises of 3 percent.

Schlissel’s salary remains significantly higher than that of the average public university leader which, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, averaged $464,000 last calendar year.

Nevertheless, he remains outside of the top ten paid public university officials due to an increase in the average public university official’s salary between 2016 and 2017.

After five years of compiling data, the Chronicle noted average salary generally increases 2 to 3 percent annually. Yet, this year, the average increase was approximately 5 percent — noticeably higher than Schlissel’s 3.5 percent raise.

Last fiscal year, the three highest paid public university leaders each took home $1,000,000 or more, while seven earned over $700,000. 

Raymond Watts, president of  the University of Alabama at Birmingham, received $890,000 last year — the 10th highest public university official salary in the country — while President Michael Crow of Arizona State topped the list with more than $1.5 million. 

However, the Chronicle does not account for the housing and transportation Schlissel receives from the University, benefits other presidents do not necessarily gain.