Incoming University of Texas president declines $1M salary

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Emails show the incoming president of the University of Texas at Austin declined a $1 million salary offer because he was concerned it could upset students and faculty at the school that has been stretched for funds in recent years.

"With many issues and concerns about administrative costs, affordability and tuition, such a salary will affect the ability of the president to work with the Texas Legislature on matters important to the university," Gregory Fenves said in an email to Pedro Reyes, the UT System's executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Fenves warned that the proposed paycheck would draw "widespread negative attention from students and faculty because of budget constraints seen in the last five years." His email was obtained by the Austin American-Statesman ( ) through an open records request.

Fenves is expected to receive his requested base salary of $750,000 a year, making him an outlier in a field where salaries generally push north of seven figures.

Michael Young, who became president of Texas A&M University on May 1, is the highest-paid leader of a public academic institution in Texas. His total annual compensation is $1.4 million, including $1 million in base salary.

Fenves requested his annual bonus, dependent on a performance evaluation, be capped at 10 percent of his base salary rather than the 12 percent listed in a proposed term sheet. With $50,000 in deferred pay, his total compensation comes to $800,000 a year, which doesn't count any bonus pay.

The UT System Board of Regents is expected to formally approve Fenves' compensation package Thursday.

Fenves will assume office June 3, replacing Bill Powers who resigned after a decade in the job.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman,

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