How do we lure the big dogs to the U and MnSCU?

MPR’s Tim Post looks at how officials are figuring out what to pay the future chiefs of both the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU).

What each man gets so far:

University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks ranks as one of the highest-paid public college presidents in the U.S. His base salary is $455,000 a year. Add retirement funds to the mix, and the total compensation package is almost $650,000.

The university also allows Bruininks to crash on its couch, so to speak. He lives at the university’s official residence, Eastcliff, a stately, 20-room, 10,000-square-foot mansion on the banks of the Mississippi River.

(MnSCU) Chancellor James McCormick receives a base salary of $360,000. With performance bonuses, retirement, and housing and car allowances, his total compensation is more than $450,000 a year.

  • wbgleason

    The Chairman of the Board of Regents, Mr. Clyde Allen, has floated a trial balloon on paying the new U of M president a lot of money.

    From my post ( ):

    According to Mr. Allen it could take more [than presently being paid] : “If you want just the right person who's going to get the most out of what we do spend on the university, that may be a very, very good investment,” he said.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Allen others are not so sanguine. State Senator Gen Olson says: “Just because somebody else, some other system or some other state is doing it — I think we have to consider Minnesota and what Minnesotans want too.” Olson says if MnSCU and the U of M want to increase the already healthy salaries of their presidents, they also need to convince taxpayers it's necessary.

    Saranna Thornton is an economics professor in Virginia. “There starts to be morale issues when compensation for presidents is increasing dramatically and compensation for faculty is remaining relatively flat.” Thornton says incoming presidents may have a hard time leading by example if they negotiate big salaries, and then need to make budget cuts or reduce the salaries of faculty and staff.


    I think it is time for the Board of Regents to start realizing that some of their actions, although well meaning, contribute to the disaster that is the current relationship of the U and the state legislature. Making statements like this, Chair Allen, is counterproductive and inflammatory.