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Published: Thursday, 6/26/2003

UT president won't get pay raise

University of Toledo President Daniel Johnson will not receive a raise for the upcoming year because of budget constraints.

The UT board of trustees commended Dr. Johnson during its annual presidential assessment presented yesterday, but said afterward that both sides agreed he would forgo an increase to his $240,000 salary, given the financial climate.

The president's executive staff, consisting of 11 vice presidents and executive directors, decided earlier not to accept any raises this year, and there was a mutual agreement that Dr. Johnson would follow suit even though he “met and exceeded expectations,” said Daniel Brennan, board vice chairman.

Dr. Johnson said the salary freeze for the executive staff should save UT between $30,000 and $40,000.

“In the discussion in the executive staff, we all felt that this was something that we could do to show our strong support for the belt-tightening exercises that have to be carried out here,” Dr. Johnson said.

In the last two months, UT has made about $9 million in cuts and targeted 60 positions for elimination. It also cut three sports teams and four high-ranking positions to deal with reduced state funding.

Last year, Dr. Johnson received a $25,000 raise, or 11.6 percent. It pushed his salary near the median of $243,360 for a university president, but left him ranked 10th among the 13 presidents at Ohio public universities.

At Bowling Green State University, trustees increased President Sidney Ribeau's annual salary of $270,000 by 3 percent, or $8,100, in December. He returned the money to support a university initiative.

Harvey Wolff, faculty union president at UT, said not taking a raise is an important gesture by the president. “I think that sort of sets a good tone that maybe there are some restraints that are occurring at the university,” he said. “Of course, he did get a $25,000 raise last year, so it isn't like there haven't been any raises in his tenure.”

Tenured and tenure-track faculty had a one-year contract extension approved yesterday by the UT trustees, giving them a 1.6 percent across-the-board salary increase and a 1 percent merit increase.

A one-year extension approved for lecturers provides for an across-the-board increase of 2.6 percent.

In other business yesterday, the trustees re-elected Joan Uhl Browne chairman of the board. Mr. Brennan was re-elected as vice chairman.

Ms. Browne pledged that the trustees will develop a mechanism for allowing public comment. The issue came up in April when a representative of the men's swimming team, which was one of the UT sports eliminated, asked to address the board.

When he started speaking, the trustees said the man was out of order, went into recess, and left the room.



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