- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Incentive bonuses helped boost compensation this year for some senior University of Texas System executives and campus presidents by six figures and double-digit percentages over last year.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the increases earlier this month but didn’t provide a full breakdown until this week, the Austin American-Statesman (https://atxne.ws/1ODpg4G ) reported.

Mark Houser, who manages the UT System’s West Texas oil lands, saw the biggest increase: 40.5 percent from $425,000 to $1.5 million, the newspaper reported. Also, regents made some increases permanent.

The news comes as regents consider tuition and fee increases for some of its 14 academic and health science campuses while many university workers and faculty members have seen small - or no - raises. Regents will hold a telephone conference Monday to consider raising charges for resident undergraduates by 6.2 percent, or by $304 per semester to $5,207.

“Tying compensation to results has long been a successful strategy in corporate settings and beyond. Some UT health institutions, for example, have offered incentive-based compensation to managers for years,” UT System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo wrote in an email to the newspaper.

However, that creates income disparities between administration and rank-and-file, said Seth Hutchinson, vice president of the Texas State Employees Union, which represents many workers at public colleges and universities.

“I’m sure they would justify those big increases by saying they need to be competitive” with the private sector, Hutchinson told the newspaper. “Following the same logic, they need to raise the wages of folks on the front line. They’re falling behind, and that’s been the trend for a while.”

Faculty raises have averaged 2 to 3 percent and many lecturers are receiving $40,000 to $50,000 per year, said Bill Beckner, a UT-Austin mathematics professor and former Faculty Council chairman.

“Our peer institutions on balance are all paying higher, especially in the STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and math,” he said. “We’ve lost some really outstanding faculty.”


Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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