Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Ante up

On the agenda for the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents today is a plan proposed by Regent President Mark Bradley to increase chancellor salaries at UW-Madison and 11 other system schools. With three open chancellor positions, including the one at this flagship university, there is hardly a better time for the regents to approve a raise.

Sure, Chancellor John Wiley’s annual paycheck of more than $300,000, along with enviable perquisites including free housing and a box at Camp Randall Stadium, is nothing to sneeze at. But when compared to chancellor compensation at other public universities across the country, UW-Madison’s payout just doesn?t stack up.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the chancellor position at UW-Madison pays 21 percent less than the average salary at peer institutions. As we have noted before, the head honcho positions at Purdue and Ohio State universities both come with salaries that are more than double the current UW-Madison chancellor?s pay. If UW hopes to compete with rival schools for the best candidates, including Purdue and Ohio State, we have to at least be in the same ballpark.

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To be sure, universities outspending us for their chancellors are not limited to Purdue and Ohio State. As of last year, 43 university leaders raked in more than $500,000. As more schools continue to commit the big bucks for top candidates, UW-Madison would be wise not to fall too far behind.

This is especially true in the wake of steadily decreasing state support for the UW System, making the position of head fundraiser especially valuable to the university. Mr. Wiley has proven remarkably successful in the fundraising game, but outstanding talent and qualifications like his come at a price.

Of course, there should be a reasonable limit to the salary inflation, and the next UW-Madison chancellor need not be paid as much as those in similar positions at Purdue and Ohio State. However, Mr. Bradley?s proposed range of $369,000 to $452,000, which would put UW-Madison within the average salary range of its peer institutions, is a good one. We encourage the Board to move ahead with this proposal and give UW a better chance at securing a top-notch replacement for Mr. Wiley.

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