What a guy! The new president at the University of Texas’s flagship Austin campus has rejected an offered $1 million salary, saying it is too extravagant for the president of a public university in a time of rising tuition and budget constraints.
“[$1 million] is too high for a public university,” Gregory Fenves said in an email obtained by the Austin American-Statesman through a public records request. Fenves, who was officially chosen as UT-Austin’s newest president last month, suggested the huge sum could provoke a political backlash as well, going on to say:
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.
Before anyone starts recommending Fenves for sainthood, however, it should be noted that the compensation he has agreed to — $750,000 per annum — is still well above the average for public university presidents. In addition, he receives about $50,000 in deferred pay (which can be lost if he leaves UT early) and can receive a 10% performance bonus (down from a 12% bonus that was originally offered). His salary also represents a 20% increase over that enjoyed by his predecessor, Bill Powers, who had a base compensation of $624,350.
Nonetheless, Fenves will be earning substantially less than some of his peers. Michael Young, the newly-hired president of Texas A&M, has a total annual compensation of $1.4 million, and University of Houston chancellor Renu Khator reels in $1.1 million. Bill McRaven, who serves as chancellor of the entire UT system, has a salary of $1.2 million with big six-figure retention bonuses.
This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.