As University of Wisconsin campuses face steep budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UW Board of Regents approved 2% raises for chancellors in a closed-door meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Raises for chancellors do not require legislative approval and take effect Jan. 1.

System spokesman Mark Pitsch said the Legislature's Joint Committee on Employment Relations already signed off on a 2% raise for rank-and-file System employees that also takes effect Jan. 1.

The Regents also approved a $95 million pay plan for System employees that would provide a 2% raise in fiscal year 2022 and a 2.5% raise in 2023. Those raises, however, require legislative approval, which could potentially fall through because the request comes in addition to a projected $373 million deficit in the state general fund's projected revenues and costs.

The $70,525 in leadership raises approved Thursday range from $11,885 for UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank to $4,578 for UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow.

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The raises do not factor in pay cuts that at least one chancellor has pledged to take.

Blank said she and UW-Madison vice chancellors will take a 15% pay cut over the first six months of 2021, while deans of schools and colleges will take a 10% cut. Most other university employees must take three to six furlough days in that same time period, all in an effort to help make up for a roughly $320 million deficit.

The 2% raise bumps Blank's salary from $594,269 to $606,154, though the six-month pay cut will put her salary in the $560,700 range.

The board has handed out raises to chancellors in each of the past three years but hadn't provided them in several years before 2018. In that year, the Regents offered raises ranging from 6% to 14% to most of the chancellors, citing additional responsibilities leaders assumed with the restructuring of UW Colleges and Extension. In 2019, the board gave 2% raises.

How much will chancellors make?

  • UW-Madison, Rebecca Blank: $606,154 ($11,885 raise)
  • UW-Milwaukee, Mark Mone: $412,226 ($8,083)
  • UW-Platteville, Dennis Shields: $280,908 ($5,508)
  • UW-Oshkosh, Andrew Leavitt: $270,504 ($5,304)
  • UW-Eau Claire, Jim Schmidt: $268,813 ($5,271)
  • UW-Stout, Katherine Frank: $265,200 ($5,200)
  • UW-Parkside, Deborah Ford: $260,100 ($5,100)
  • UW-Superior, Renee Wachter: $260,100 ($5,100)
  • UW-Green Bay, Michael Alexander: $255,000 ($5,000)
  • UW-Whitewater, Dwight Watson: $249,696 ($4,896)
  • UW-River Falls (interim), Constance Foster: $234,600 ($4,600)
  • UW-La Crosse, Joe Gow: $233,466 ($4,578)

Note: UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson retires Jan. 5.

Source: UW System

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