Though pressured by last year’s cuts in state funding, the University has opted to give raises to faculty and staff this year, a move intended to retain employees in an increasingly competitive national market.
For the fiscal year 2005, faculty salaries increased an average of 3.2 percent, and staff salaries increased an average of 3 percent, according to a written release. University President Mary Sue Coleman took a 2 percent salary increase. Last year, she and other executive officers elected not to take a raise in light of a strained budget situation caused by deep cuts in state funding.
Along with salary rates, the University also released its annual catalog listing the salaries of all its employees.
The highest-paid person at the University is Robert Kelch, executive vice president for Medical Affairs, who will make $618,600 this year. Coleman is the third-highest paid, making $484,500. Head football coach Lloyd Carr makes $321,423.
Among the 30 highest-paid individuals, seven are deans, averaging a salary of about $325,000.
Funding for an employee’s salary comes from various sources. Not all of the University’s employees are paid directly from the general fund — the money taken from tuition and state appropriations. Other sources include the University’s endowment, grants and endowments established for individual professorships and, for Medical School employees, clinical revenue — money paid by patients for professional services.
For example, a little less than half of School of Public Health Dean Noreen Clark’s salary comes from the University’s general fund. Most of her $317,000 salary comes from grants and contracts she has received because of her interest in research, said Terri Mellow, director of communications for the School of Public Health.
But top administrators are not the only high-paid individuals at the University. Nearly half of the 30 highest-paid employees hold professorships in the Medical School.
The Medical School operates on a slightly different salary system than the rest of the University. Less than 10 percent of its revenue comes from the general fund. Professors, likewise, are often paid by either clinical revenue or individual grants, said David Bloom, associate dean for faculty affairs at the school.
“It’s far different than the other schools,” Bloom said. Medical School professors do teach, but most of their activities are in clinical care or research. Two-thirds of the 1,800 Medical School faculty see patients and operate in addition to teaching.
So if they perform expensive procedures or win highly lucrative federal grants, their salaries go up as well.
Medical school Prof. Lazar Greenfield, who works as a surgeon, for instance, took in the second-highest salary at $507,285. Greenfield has served as interim executive vice president for medical affairs — Kelch’s current position — but also as chair of the surgery department. As chair, he was credited with making the department one of the best in the country, Bloom said.
Though size of some administrators’ salaries may seem high, the University said that this year’s increases were “modest.”
These salary raises came on the heels of a 2-percent budget cut from the state this year. So to pay for the raises, the University has had to find “efficiencies” and reallocate resources within departments and in the administration.
“We know that state funding was very tight, and that’s why the salary increase was so modest,” University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said. Over the past five years, faculty salary increases have ranged from 5.8 percent in fall 2001 to 2.6 percent in fall 2003, when the University received a 10-percent cut from the state.
Because the University is a public institution and roughly one-third of its budget is controlled by the state’s fluctuating budget, it sometimes is disadvantaged in the job market.
“Because we’re competing with other private universities, it can be a challenge for us,” said Timothy Wood, senior director of human resources at the University.
Bloom expressed similar concern, noting that in some fields, professors in the Medical School are not paid as much as they would be in private practice, despite their seemingly high salaries. “We struggle to pay competitively, and in some areas, we are below competitive,” Bloom said. But the school is less affected by public funding constraints, because it gets most of its revenue outside of the University’s general fund.
“That leaves us far, far less dependent on state fluctuations,” Bloom said. “There’s no way the state would be able to manage a billion-dollar-a-year business,” he added, referring to the Medical School and its adjoining hospital.
Administration officials consistently stress the importance of awarding employees for their hard work so the University can stay competitive in the academic job market.
“I think the university has considered salary increase programs an important part of recruitment and retention and makes a commitment to having them even when we’re in difficult budget times,” Wood said.
There are several reasons why employees receive salary increases, Wood said. One is to recognize the contributions of faculty and staff members. As budget cuts continue, the University often asks faculty and staff members to do more than their job description entails. The University also recognizes the increased costs of living that employees experience, he added.
If employees do not regularly receive compensation for their hard work, “we’re not going to be an excellent university anymore,” Peterson said.
Copies of the complete Salary Record are on reserve at the University Library and also may be purchased from the Human Resources Records and Information Services Department, (734) 647-0018.