I have to wonder where all those posters that railed again the university
presidents when the DN posted the story about the regents giving the raise have
gone? I hope that crow is tasty.
Phranc, I was one of "those posters" and I have a hard time
understanding your crticism.Think of it like a crime. Man gets away
with fraud- society complains- man is arrested. I don't feel the need to comment
about it any more.Since when are we obligated to spend our time
'after the fact' in praising people for doing something that should have been
done anyway (especially when they probably wouldn't have without our initially
concern over this issue)?I'm happy they did, really. But if they
wanted or deserved any praise for this, they should have done it of their own
accord and not as a reaction to criticism.
@Freedom-In-DangerSo you do realize the board of regents and the
university presidents are not the same people right? therefore it would be hard
for the presidents to do anything before the regents acted and people began
their criticisms. If you only criticized the board then I think you where not
out of line but if you are one of the many that went after the university
presidents then I stick by my original comment.
As one of "those posters" I am donating any meals of crow to the
charity of my choice.I applaud the Presidents who have declined the
raises. However, it is not totally without financial benefit to them. I
believe that they will be allowed to deduct the value of their contributions to
charities or scholarship funds. That translates into a tax deduction of about
28-33% of the contribution. (You know, like those "evil rich guys"
use to avoid paying "their fair share.")Let's hope the
stragglers are just slow to choose a charity, not hoping to slip the raise in
their pocket if the public looses interest.And, how many of the
Presidents would have declined the raises if there had not been the public and
legislative outcry over their unwarranted raises in tough economic times?
I suppose I don't really fit the scenario either way. I didn't really criticize
any individual or group directly. I only vocalized my frustration with certain
positions getting what I considered unreasonable compensation for their work. I
did not actually make reference for blaming anyone. I typically believe that
when things are awry, it is usually the people/masses to blame.I
wouldn't hold it against them. If someone is offered a raise, the offer should
be met. Whether the raise was warranted is then the fault of the board and those
who the board is accountable to.In the end, my biggest concern isn't
even the board or the salary. I'm only upset at how education funds are spent
and how it impacts students and those who are supporting the students.
So how about our fantastic, gifted legislators give up their health benefits and
full retirement after 8 elected years on the 45 day a year job and put that
money into education.
This is random, I realize, but I found this tidbit of information interesting.
According to Utah's Right to Know website, Matthew Holland makes around $126K as
the UVU President. The VP of Academic Affairs makes just under $174K and the
Associate VP of Academic Affairs makes around $137K. A "Distinguished
Professor" is listed at $155K. I realize there are many factors involved
that would account for the +disparity between what the university president
makes (and yes, the president receives perquisites that the others don't
receive), but I did find it interesting that he has direct reports, and beyond,
who make more than he does.
I don't understand them taking the money and then donating it. They could of
easily donated $7,000. out of their pockets before the raise. Donating it is the
same as taking it as far as I'm concerned. Don't take it and let it go back into
the budget for programs that are truly needed. I'm sure the Board of Regents is
shocked that they gave money which they probably had to find to begin with for
what they thought was a good thing only to find they don't have the money and
the raises served little purpose. What's the requirement for being of the Board
of Regents? It obviously isn't common sense.
@Freedom-In-DangerI can understand your point of view, I respect
that. @DN subscriber a few things first only two of
the presidents took the money and donated it the rest just turned it down
outright. secondly I would suspect (don't know because I am not them) that the
presidents that did take it and donate it would argue they thought it would do a
greater good to donate it to a scholarship then to send it back to the
government to waste. Lastly I think your point that they do still gain some
benefit in terms of a tax deduction is a far one.
For those who think it is "so noble" to not take the pay for
themselves but donate it to a scholarship fund, they ARE taking the money and
then just giving it to someopne else. The taxpayers are STILL ON THE HOOK FOR
THE RAISES. That's like Rep Matheson not taking his congressional pay
raises...they still come out of the US Treasury and then he donates them to a
charity. He doesn't refuse the money. As pointed out by another person, they
can then declare that donation on their personal income taxes. To turn down the
money, they need to refuse it in the first place. If you gave me half of your
salary Uncle Sam would still tax you on the entire amount. So while this
"noble act" is a help to those less fortunate, it still costs the
taxpayers the money, which can't be used for something else, like human services
or corrections or K-12 education, or.....
DN subscriber might think about the tax issue in the following manner. Matt
Holland gets a $7,000 raise on which he would pay taxes. By donating the $7,000
back to UVU, he gets a tax break equal to the amount he would have been taxed
creating a net gain of zero. Donating the raise to UVU simply takes his taxable
income back to where it was before the raise. He gets no personal gain from the
situation. I am wondering why the President of the largest public
university in the state is getting a raise that is, apparently, the lowest in
@DN Subscriber:There is no tax benefit to receiving a raise and donating
it all to a charity!The tax you are "saving" by the
deduction is the tax on the additional money you were paid, not on a penny
more.Say you received $100 and the tax rate on that additional $100
was 30%. Net cash in pocket = $70. If you donated the $100, you would give up
$100 cash, but would not get the $30 tax break. After tax cost to you = $70. You
get no benefit--it is exactly as though you never received the raise.In reality, if you are in a tax bracket where the deductibility of donations
are limited, it would cost you money.Net effect on all parties
involved (assuming no ceiling on deducibility):State of Utah:
-$100College Pres: $0Charity: +$100Fed Gov't:
Kudos to the college presidents for understanding the present day situation
better than the 'upper-crust' members of the Regents.With so many
people out of work and the increases in college tuition it was ridiculous for
the Board of Regents to make this decision to give college presidents increases
in salaries.The Regents must be up in the night.
I think there is more going on here than meets the eye. In the long term, for
the future of Utah higher education, it is essential that we hire excellent
Presidents. We cannot do that if we cannot offer them competitive salaries.
Based on real data and facts, the Regents recognized that Utah Presidents were
Underpaid by as much as 30%. U.ofU. Is currently searching for a new President.
How can they get the high quality President they need and deserve without
competitive pay? The Regents did the Right thing here. That some Presidents have
allowed naive public outcry to embarrass them over justified compensation is the
problem. It devalues the importance of the work they do and the importance of
higher education to this state and the country. It is an unfortunate concession
to naive whiners who blame anyone and everyone for their woes. University
Presidents did not bring about this economic mess. Criticizing them for
receiving an unsolicited pay raise that strategically positions Utah higher Ed
for the future is foolish and naive.How many of you complain about
the unholy salaries paid to head football coaches?
It is an obscenity, that the Regents gave this raise at this time! Thankfully,
the recipients of this largess reject the raise. But they reject it for the
wrong reason. They are "... fearing it would create sour feelings among
staff and faculty who haven't seen a pay raise ..." and "alienate
state lawmakers ..." Do any of these yokels think of the tax payers?
Families are struggling to make mortgage payments, people are losing their
homes, there is a recession (rather a Depression) going on, jobs are scarce.
Now is not the time for the arristocracy to confiscate taxpayer's money to give
extravagant pay increases to the elite.
My faith in at least a few of the Pres. in the system is bolstered- yet as the
person I am- I must wonder- without such public outcry would any have considered
taking the actions reported here- also- gave up rather small sums of cash (in
relation to salary) and got huge political upswing for it- seems like a cheap
way to gain favor- but as noted I do applaud their actions and appreciate the
gesture- it was the right thing to do
Just last week, US News issued its annual rankings for institutions of higher
education throughout the country. It is worth noting that Southern Utah
University was ranked #71 amongst regional universities in the Western US. Weber
State ranked five places behind SUU at #76 and US News determined that Utah
Valley University did not even warrant a ranking, nor did Dixie State
College.Given these rankings, it is disappointing to see that the
Regents have chosen to compensate these Presidents based on the size of their
institutions' enrollment rather than quality of the education these institutions
provide. This decision is misguided, myopic, and does very little to promote
exceptional education within the system. Rather, the Regents sent a clear
message that they would prefer the State of Utah to be known as a degree mill
instead of as a state of extraordinary educational institutions. Specifically,
the Presidents pay is:Weber - $210,000UVU - $205,000SLCC
- $200,000SUU - $200,000Dixie - $180,000SUU offers 10
Masters Degrees, while UVU offers only 3 Masters Degrees. These institutions are
hardly academic peers.Bottom Line: The Regents should promote
quality and academic integrity and not ballooned enrollment.
Personally, I don't care what might have been the motivation behind turning
down the pay raises. The end result is - it was probably the right thing to do.
Perhaps we should allow people to do the right things even if the motives are
not clear or are skewed somehow. I just think that if we arrive at the right
point, then lets be grateful for that.The CEO of our local power
company is compensated to the tune of about $4 million a year with salary,
company stock and perks. Personally, I don't care if he is "worth
it", the fact is that my electric bill keeps rising, we are struggling
greatly in this economy. Granted, were he to donate 50% or even 75% of his
salary to struggling rate payers it wouldn't go far. That's not the point. It
is a gesture of good will in a struggling economy that speaks volumes.
I am truly grateful for this sacrifice. There is still plenty of hope in the
dignity of man.
Vanka, I seriously doubt you would have the same feelings if the board of
directors of a private company decided it was not paying its CEO enough.Regardless, the position is funded by taxpayer money; as taxpayers, we
have some say in it. It's not unreasonable to suggest that the government
follow the same pattern as private companies in a recession--namely, to cut back
on raises until times are better. Besides, Utah has continually proven that
throwing money at a problem (or position) does not always bring better results.
The actual problem goes far past the school presidents. They are ALL top heavy
with administration. For heaven sake, look at Utah's Right to Know. Just take
SLCC as an example. Sort by pay and you will see that you have to go through
the first hundred or so people before you find anyone who teaches. What a farce
these institutions have set up. Someone should get rid of all that bureaucracy
and replace it with more good teachers..
Vanka, I agree with you 100%. In Montana, when the presidents of the University
of Montana and Montana State University retired, the Montana Board of Regents
had to pay salaries that were, I don't remember the exact number, in the
neighborhood of $50K higher than the outgoing presidents had been making. It is
a real dilemma for the hiring authorities to attract and retain high-quality
leaders when they can't compete with comparable institutions in other states.
It's the sad reality, like it or not, as you have stated.
Cambrai - please stop sharing misinformation. You do not cite a source on the
salary figures you offer. Second, UVU is an open admissions university. Open
admissions universities do not appear in the rankings you cite as per US News
and World Report policy.
Ricardo Carvalho - please stop sharing misinformation.While the data
I cite are a matter of public record, you requested sources, so here they
are:Salary data comes from the Utah System of Higher Education.University Rankings come from USNews and World Report, one of the most
revered sources of academic rankings. Your assertion that "open admissions
universities do not appear in the rankings" is utterly false. Weber State
is an open admissions university and appears in the rankings at #76 for Regional
Universities in the Western U.S., which is 5 points below SUU's #71 ranking.Open admissions universities (like UVU) means all applicants are
accepted...not exactly synonymous with academic rigor.One factual
inaccuracy in my previous post was my categorization of UVU as a "Regional
University". USNews actually classifies UVU (and Dixie) as "Regional
Colleges", a category below SUU and Weber. Even so, UVU and Dixie failed
to garner a ranking in this lesser classification, behind such academic
powerhouses as East Texas Baptist University, Montana Tech, and Trinity Lutheran
University. (No kidding...look it up!) Thank you for pointing out this
egregious error in my previous post!We should reward universities
for academic excellence, not inflated enrollments!
The enormous advantage to taking it and donating it is fivefold:1)
They may just make the donation in year 1, but the raise is ongoing. They may
not make an offsetting donation in future years.2) They can supplant
other charitable donations they made last year, or were planning to make this
year. It is possible that the offsetting donation equal to the salary increase
will be offset or partially offset by a reduction in other charitable giving.3) The salary boost will be factored into retirement calculations and
increases, regardless of whether there is an equivalent charitable deduction.4) They might be getting a fringe benefit that is a percentage of
salary that will go up, such as a contribution to a 401(k) or similar type
account.5) If future salary increases are based on percentages,
they will have a higher base salary.