A concerted effort to compete for the top available candidates means the next chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center will be paid considerably more than the current one.
The University of Nebraska Board of Regents intends to “meet or exceed the midpoint of those at peer institutions so that we can be competitive in the global marketplace for talent,” regents board Chairman Tim Clare of Lincoln said.
The midpoint for NU's peer schools in 2011-12, university officials said, was $600,725. That's about $166,000 more than what UNMC's current chancellor, Dr. Harold Maurer, made in 2011-12.
This year, Maurer's salary increased to $443,367.
Maurer is leaving the job to become a fundraiser for the new cancer center at UNMC. Three finalists, all medical doctors, remain in the running for the post: Dr. Fred Meyers, executive associate dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Davis; Dr. Daniel Wilson, vice president for health affairs and dean of medicine at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville; and Dr. Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University Medical Center and director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute.
NU President J.B. Milliken wouldn't say how much the next chancellor will be paid, noting that will be part of negotiations.
“Our goal is to be competitive, to be fair and to be prudent,” he said.
Over the past half-dozen years, Milliken said, NU regents have made it clear that the salaries of the leaders at the four universities in the system were not as high as they should be to be competitive. That's especially true, he said, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UNMC, “where the incumbents have been in place for some time.”
Maurer has been UNMC's chancellor since 1998. Harvey Perlman has been chancellor at UNL since 2001.
Money from the University of Nebraska Foundation allowed the chancellors at UNMC, UNL and the Kearney and Omaha campuses to receive significant raises in 2011-12. It was the first year that the NU executives' pay had been raised since 2008. They received smaller raises in 2012-13.
Whether foundation money will be used to supplement the next UNMC chancellor's pay has not been determined, Milliken said.
The chancellors' salaries aren't their only source of compensation: They also receive housing allowances, retirement supplements, expense accounts, cars to drive, country club memberships and deferred compensation equal to 11.5 percent of their annual salaries.
Other Big Ten schools that recently have hired new medical school leaders have had to bump up the pay for the position. The new dean at the Indiana University School of Medicine, who starts Sept. 1, will be paid $500,000 a year. The former dean, who had been in the job since 2001, was paid $411,726. The dean of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, who started the job on Oct. 31, makes $621,000 a year. She replaced a dean who had held the post since 2008 and was paid $548,454 in his last year.
The salaries of the heads of U.S. medical schools can vary widely, as do their responsibilities, Milliken said. At some institutions, he said, the person serves as vice president for health sciences. Others may hold that title or a similar one plus dean of the college of medicine, and still others also may oversee the hospital associated with the medical school.
“There aren't exact matches,” Milliken said, “and that's why we use a number of peers. The easiest thing to say is this is the lead position for the whole range of health sciences activities at the university.”
The chancellor at UNMC oversees a separate university instead of a college of medicine and reports to the NU president. UNMC is made up of the Colleges of Dentistry; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmacy; and Public Health, as well as the School of Allied Health Professions. It also has a graduate research program.
Milliken said the search process is going well. “No one wants to finish this successfully any more than I do and the Board of Regents,” he said, “but I hope that we'll be able to wrap it up soon.”
|How salaries rank|
|Salaries for the top medical school officials at Big Ten and Nebraska peer institutions|
|Kansas:||$800,000 (NU peer institution)|
|Ohio State:||$731,726 (also NU peer)|
|Illinois:||$714,000 (also peer)|
|Iowa:||$621,000 (also peer)|
|Nebraska:||$443,367 (current salary; new chancellor and his salary haven't been announced)|
|Minnesota:||$430,412 (also peer)|
|Purdue:||Does not have a medical school|
|Sources: The universities|