What will it take for University of Oregon to bring in a new, permanent president?

The president of University of Oregon makes less than most others, and that’s a problem when a university is looking to hire.

At the Presidential Factors Committee on March 4, Stephen Pollack, of the consulting firm Mercer, presented statistics on presidential pay from 17 universities around the nation. This is all part of the discussion surrounding UO’s search for a new president after Michael Gottfredson resigned last summer.

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding how much UO should pay the president, mostly based around the fact that while administration pay has been rising, staff salaries haven’t.

Also, many students criticize the desire to raise the president’s salary when tuition is rising for students. On Thursday, student protesters showed up at the Board of Trustees meeting to speak out against tuition rising.

But members of the Board insist that the university has to pay its president more if it wants to get good candidates, and Pollack’s findings seem to back that up: Out of the 17 universities he looked at, the UO president’s base salary of $458,484 is lower than about three quarters — but including the benefits, like retirement, it’s more toward the middle compared to the peer universities Pollack picked.

Some of those benefits include “deferred compensation,” which is basically a bonus the university gives the president after a certain amount of time in the office — an incentive to stay.

Pollack recommended that the Board tie this compensation to a set of goals that would have to be completed before the president gets the bonus.

“These are dollars that you want to make sure you’re getting better performance for paying,” Pollack said.

One way working for UO is much better than other universities: Employees only pay five 5 percent of their healthcare plan cost. Most require around 20 percent, Pollack said.

The presidential search could end as soon as April.

Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.



Tell us what you think:

Scott Greenstone

Scott Greenstone

Rehabilitated ex-homeschooler, former Emerald Senior News Editor, editor-in-chief of The Broadside at Central Oregon Community College, and freelance blogger for Barnes and Noble.

Now I write campus politics. Easy conversation starters include Adventure Time, Terry Pratchett novels and Arcade Fire.