University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs is to receive no raises in the next five years under a contract extension approved by the board of trustees Monday.
Saying there had been a lot of "erroneous rhetoric" surrounding a possible pay increase for Dr. Jacobs, board Chairman C. William Fall said he only talked with the president about extending his contract through June 30, 2016 -- not increasing his salary.
"In fact, both privately and publicly, prior to that event, since that event ... Dr. Jacobs has religiously declined any change in possible compensation, and I wanted to go and make a few comments this afternoon to make sure we're all clear on that and frankly, [Dr. Jacobs] our gratitude for your position simply considering the economic times within which we're dealing."
Dr. Jacobs, who is paid $392,700 a year, also receives a car, house, and expense account from the university. His existing contract also calls for him to receive a longevity bonus of $150,000 after June 30 this year and again after June 30, 2013.
Meghan Cunningham, a spokesman for UT, said Dr. Jacobs had taken the longevity bonus in the past, and she didn't have any indication that he wouldn't take this one.
Larry Burns, vice president of external affairs for UT, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
The president's contract extension was among a long list of personnel moves approved by the trustees that included former UT President Dan Johnson's return from a leave of absence and appointment as director of global initiatives at an annual salary of $200,000. Mr. Johnson, who spent the last three years as provost, chief operating officer, and chief academic officer at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, retains his titles of president emeritus and distinguished university professor of public policy and economic development at UT.
Trustee S. Amjad Hussain told the board it was a mistake for anyone to accuse UT of giving exorbitant raises to administrators. He said that, comparatively speaking, Dr. Jacobs' salary package was "in line or below" that of presidents at comparable public universities.
According to the the Chronicle of Higher Education, the median total compensation for college presidents in 2009-10 was $375,442.
E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University was the highest-paid, with $1.8 million in "total cost of employment," which factors in all costs including salary, retirement, bonuses, car allowances, and retirement benefits.
At the University of Cincinnati, a public institution that also has a medical school like UT, the president's total cost of employment was $490,415, while it was listed as $412,500 at Bowling Green State University and $453,406 at UT.
Dr. Jacobs drew laughter when he told the board, "I would do this job for nothing. I love it so much. I love the institution. I care for all of you."
On a more serious note, Dr. Jacobs said this would be the third year in a row that neither he nor other members of his leadership team have received a pay increase.
"Times are tough," he said after the meeting. "I'll take it when all the rest of these guys get a salary increase."
Carroll Ashley, vice chairman of the board, said he was concerned UT could risk losing good administrators by not granting them salary increases.
"Higher education is a competitive community. For us to fall behind only subjects our better people to other opportunities and creates inequities as we replace them with current staff," Mr. Ashley said. "I respect what Dr. Jacobs is doing and appreciate the leaders who are foregoing any kind of request for increases, but I think for the institution's long-range benefit it's something the board needs to look at very carefully."
Also Monday, the board of trustees approved a one-year contract extension with the UT chapter of the American Association of University Professors, which represents some 600 lecturers and tenured and tenure-track professors at UT. The extension continues wages and benefits at their current level.
Dr. Jacobs said union members overwhelmingly ratified the contract extension in voting over the past week.
"It is evidence of us finding common ground," he said. "It is evidence, in my opinion, that we're improving our partnership, that we're able to work together."
Harvey Wolff, president of the AAUP chapter, said after the meeting that he believes faculty supported the extension because of the uncertainty of Senate Bill 5, a measure that would prohibit public employee unions from striking and limit what they can negotiate, among other things. An attempt is under way to ask Ohio voters to repeal the law on Nov. 8.
"I think the driving force was the unknown issue involving Senate Bill 5 and what that might or might not mean," Mr. Wolff said.
If Senate Bill 5 is repealed in November, the union and UT would resume negotiations by Jan. 16, 2012, under the terms of the contract extension.
In other business, trustees:
Approved an $800.6 million budget for next year that includes a 3.5 percent tuition increase for undergraduate students and eliminates more than 100 positions at the main and health science campuses. About a third of the staff reductions were made by not filling vacant positions, while the remainder involved layoffs of current personnel, said David Dabney, interim senior vice president for finance and administration. Scott Scarborough, senior vice president and executive director of the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio, said no faculty or nursing staff were laid off.
While the budget is 1.2 percent larger than this year's $791 million spending plan, it took into account a reduction in state funding projected at $20.2 million.
Named a new Parkinson's disease center the Gardner/McMaster Parkinson's Center after donors Philip J. Gardner of Findlay and the Harold and Helen McMaster Foundation. Both Mr. Gardner and the foundation pledged $500,000 for construction of the 5,100-square-foot facility.
Thanked outgoing trustees Joseph C. High and Baldemar Velasquez as well as student Trustee Treyken M. Addison.
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