November 22, 2008 in City

WSU chief takes $100,000 pay cut

Floyd says he’s leading by example as universities brace for budget hits
By The Spokesman-Review
 

With state colleges and universities facing the potential for historic budget cuts, the president of Washington State University is taking a $100,000 salary cut.

WSU’s Board of Regents voted to approve Elson S. Floyd’s pay cut Friday, upon his request.

“These are exceedingly tough times for my students, faculty and staff,” Floyd said. “We will be asking them to think more creatively and work harder with less as we deal with budgetary restraints.

“It is incumbent upon me to lead by example.”

According to a university news release, the reduction will kick in Jan. 1, and Floyd’s annual salary will drop to $625,000.

Floyd was paid $600,000 in his first year at the university. He received a 21 percent raise in September, to $725,000.

Floyd announced in October that he would create a scholarship fund with part of his salary.

University of Washington President Mark Emmert, the second-highest paid public university president in the nation at $905,000, has decided to forgo a pay raise this year, the Seattle Times reported Friday.

In his annual review Thursday, the UW’s regents said Emmert has done an exceptional job, but at his request, they did not consider a pay increase.

Emmert said it’s prudent to decline a raise because of upcoming budget cuts, according to the article.

Rodolfo Arevalo, Eastern Washington University’s president, received a 5 percent pay increase this year, to $234,000, The Spokesman-Review reported in September. He has pledged $20,000, more than the raise itself, to a scholarship fund, EWU spokesman Dave Meany said Friday.

Facing a $5.1 billion budget hole, state officials Wednesday ordered state colleges and universities to plan for 20 percent budget cuts over the next two years, a reduction that would likely mean program cuts and enrollment declines.

In a broadly circulated e-mail Thursday, Floyd told WSU staff, students, alumni and other supporters that the university over the past year has identified ways to save $3 million without layoffs.

“We still must realize at least an additional $3 million in reductions by June 30, but I am convinced that we can do so without reducing personnel, compromising the quality of education or increasing student/faculty ratios,” the e-mail states.

He acknowledged that those cuts fall far below a 20 percent reduction but cautioned that the exact depth of the cut can’t be known until the Legislature comes up with a final budget.

Floyd also noted that the WSU Foundation had raised more than $143 million in the last fiscal year – money that earns interest for scholarships and other causes.

At the same time, however, the WSU Foundation reported to regents Friday that its endowment – like those at colleges nationwide – has taken a hit because of the declining stock market.

Nearly 100 of the foundation’s 1,700 endowments are “underwater,” meaning they’re worth less now than when established by donors. Those devalued endowments all were established in the past year.


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