Regent committee to review compensation packages

The University has been criticized for how it pays administrators when they leave.
April 16, 2012

 

The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents will review executive compensation and administrative transitional leave packages later this month, the University announced Friday.

The review was partially prompted by the media’s focus on University compensation packages, board Chair Linda Cohen said. The Star Tribune reported that former University President Bob Bruininks signed compensation agreements worth more than $2.8 million. Some departing administrators were paid at their executive salaries while on leave, even when they didn’t plan on returning to the University.

More recently, the University was criticized after University athletics director Joel Maturi announced his retirement Feb. 2. Maturi’s new role as a special assistant to University President Eric Kaler retains his compensation package of $345,000 in salary  for another year plus additional retirement benefits.

“Regents understand that while compensation and leaves for our senior administrators must be competitive, they must also be prudent,” Cohen said in the press release.

The committee is tasked with revising policies on administrative leave packages for the board’s consideration.

The review will be conducted by a special regent committee consisting of Regent Richard Beeson, who will chair the committee along with Regents John Frobenius and Dean Johnson.

The first public meeting will be held April 26. A recommendation is expected to the full board in its June meeting.

“It’s not going to be a major overhaul, but some things will change,” Cohen said.

Cohen said the board planned to address the issue for a while, but recent board events distracted them from the task.

“I don’t know if it indicates that anything was done wrong,” said Rep. Bud Nornes, House Higher Education Committee chair. “But … perhaps it’s time to change the procedures.”

Nornes said the board had previously told him of its intent to look into the issue, and he thinks it’s a good time for the board to get more involved.

Kaler has also previously discussed the importance of looking at compensation packages. The board has been in communication with him on the issue.

“We are in the process of revising University policies,” Kaler told the Minnesota Daily on March 21. “So that’ll get us to a place where you won’t see transition packages of that magnitude in the future.”

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