UMass chief’s pay up 7.5%, data says

But campus salaries stay in midrange

The University of Massachusetts increased compensation for its president and three of its campus chancellors last fiscal year by about 7.5 percent – slightly above the average increase given to leaders of public institutions nationwide, according to a new survey.

Nationally, the median annual compensation of top public higher education officials rose by about 5 percent between 2011-12 and 2012-13, according to an analysis of 256 leaders from 227 systems released Sunday by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Even with the above average compensation increase at UMass, only one of its leaders, the system’s president Robert L. Caret, earned more than last year’s national median compensation of $478,896 a year, the data showed.


Caret received $592,921, 10.6 percent more than he made the year before, the survey showed. He ranked 59th in pay among public college and university leaders.

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UMass officials said the survey, which the Chronicle publishes annually, reflects the university’s “mid-range approach” for compensating its president and chancellors.

“Our policy is to compensate senior leaders at levels that are comparable to what top officials earn at similar institutions,” said UMass spokesman Robert Connolly. “Our goal is to neither be at the highest nor lowest ends of the compensation spectrum, but we do seek to offer salary and benefits that will allow us to attract and retain talented, effective leaders.”

“We also believe that the overall success the university is enjoying is indicative of the strong leadership we have in place across the UMass system,” he added.

Among the other three UMass leaders included in the analysis:


 UMass Boston chancellor J. Keith Motley received the largest proportional year-to-year increase, a 19.8 percent raise to $332,402, data show.

 The $391,896 in compensation given to UMass Lowell chancellor Martin T. Meehan last year was an increase of 6.5 percent from 2011-12.

 Compensation for the head of the state’s flagship campus in Amherst fell 4 percent from the previous year, to $400,664, as Kumble R. Subbaswamy took over the post from Robert C. Holub.

Subbaswamy ranked 134th, Meehan 140th, and Motley 187th among public college and university leaders last year.

UMass Dartmouth and the UMass Medical School in Worcester were not included in the survey.


Public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts and elsewhere have been criticized in recent years paying hefty compensation packages to acting, and even retired, leaders.

The Chronicle’s latest analysis found that nine public higher education leaders earned more than $1 million in total compensation during 2012-13, up from just four the year prior.

The five highest paid public college leaders last year were: E. Gordon Gee, formerly of Ohio State University, $6,057,615; R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M University, $1,636,274; Hamid A. Shirvani, North Dakota University system, $1,311,095; Renu Khator, University of Houston main campus, $1,266,000; and Sally K. Mason, University of Iowa, $1,139,705.

Matt Rocheleau can be
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