SEATTLE – The University of Washington Board of Regents will decide today how much money the institution’s next president should make when it votes on a contract for Michael Young, the current president of the University of Utah.
Regents Chairman Herb Simon negotiated the contract with Young. He wouldn’t say how much the university plans to pay him, but he told the Seattle Times the contract will be fair to Young and to the university.
Young last week said he would be willing to accept less than his predecessor, Mark Emmert.
Emmert’s salary of nearly $1 million a year, including bonuses, became a sore point for some in 2009 when the university was cutting services and eliminating hundreds of staff positions.
The state in the past has paid university presidents well. Washington State University President Elson Floyd makes $625,000 in base pay and is the highest-paid public official in the state, not counting the UW football and basketball coaches.
Young’s base salary at the University of Utah is $348,000. However, his contract included “golden handcuffs,” a retention incentive paid after Young had been president of the university for five years. In 2009-’10, Young reached that milestone and earned a $375,000 payout that boosted his salary to $723,000 for one year.
Emmert’s base pay was $620,000. He also earned $250,000 in deferred compensation yearly, paid with public money. Half of his deferred compensation vested every two years on a rolling basis, and the other half at the completion of his five-year contract, which was to end in 2014.
Husky football coach Steve Sarkisian this year will make $2.25 million. Basketball coach Lorenzo Romar will make more than $1 million. Coaches are funded through the athletic department’s budget.