UW Regents approve up to 15 percent raises for system chancellors

Raises for most chancellors will be tied to student retention

Green grass and a blue sky surround Bascom Hall.
The sun shines on Bascom Hill on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at UW-Madison in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Chancellors in the Universities of Wisconsin system can receive up to 15 percent raises annually, based on a performance metric, according to a new proposal approved by the Board of Regents Monday. 

The first target will be retaining first-year undergraduate students in fiscal year 2025 at all of the universities with the exception of UW-Madison.

A specific target will be set for each chancellor following the release of 10-day enrollment numbers in fall 2024, according to the Regents.

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College enrollment has been declining fairly steadily in Wisconsin and across the U.S. over the past decade. Analysts have pointed to lower birthrates and a smaller percentage of high school graduates enrolling at public and private universities.

Since UW-Madison does not have the same issue with student retention, Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin has been given a “retention incentive,” to keep her at the system’s flagship university. 

Mnookin will receive a payment of $150,000 if she is employed through June 2025; $200,000 if she stays through June 2026 and an additional $50,000 every year thereafter. 

“To best address the challenges in higher education, the UWs must keep talent and reward performance in the key area of student retention,” said UW spokesperson Mark Pitsch.

“Some chancellors received catch-up base salary increases while chancellors at all universities except for UW-Madison will be eligible for performance-based awards of up to 15 percent of their base pay for meeting student retention metrics,” he continued.

Pitsch added the Universities of Wisconsin System will also be seeking pay adjustments for all UW employees through the state budget process.

The new base salaries for chancellors as of June 30 will be:

  • UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin: $892,663
  • UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone: $489,169
  • UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt: $304,514
  • UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt: $302,610
  • UW-LaCrosse Chancellor James Beeby: $281,112
  • UW-River Falls Chancellor Maria Gallo: $301,921
  • UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank: $304,514
  • UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander: $301,414
  • UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Thomas Gibson: $301,414
  • UW-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter: $298,658
  • UW-Whitewater Chancellor Corey King: $295,168
  • UW-Platteville Chancellor Tammy Evetovich: $295,168
  • UW-Parkside Chancellor Lynn Akey: $275,706

This is the second pay bump this year for eight of the chancellors. In April,the Regents approved raises for all chancellors in the system, bringing leaders in line with the 6 percent salary increase all UW employees received in the biennial budget. 

Mnookin is getting an additional 10 percent pay raise. Alexander, Evetovich and King are getting an extra 5 percent, and Akey, Frank and Wachter will see another 2 percent bump. 

In April, the Regents also approved a 3.75 percent in-state tuition increase for undergraduate students starting in fall 2024.

Editor’s note: Wisconsin Public Radio staff are employees of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.