Columbia, Mo. The University of Missouri Board of Curators gave president Manuel Pacheco a 24 percent raise nearly $50,000 to make the salary more competitive with peer universities.
The raise was approved in a closed session in July but not publicized until this week. The curators also gave a 21 percent raise to university attorney Bunky Wright, who made $165,400 last September and now makes $200,000.
Those raises came in the same budget that awarded 4 percent raises to faculty and staff.
"When I came, both the board and I knew this was not the market rate for system presidents," Pacheco said this week.
Pacheco now makes $250,000 a year, up from $201,400 last year. He was hired for $195,000 in 1996.
Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway earns an annual salary of $207,489.
Joe Moore, MU manager of media relations, said the information was available to the public shortly after the decision was made. The university did not make any effort to publicize the raise.
Faculty members said they were surprised to hear about the raise two months after it happened.
Beth Geden, immediate past chairwoman of the faculty council, said the raise seemed excessive.
"I think it is typical of a situation where the news is not likely to be received with a great deal of enthusiasm, and I think it is a mistake not to be more forthcoming about it," she said.
Curator Paul Steele said Pacheco's raise brought him into the lower tier of salaries for top system administrators at Big Ten and Big 12 universities. Although there has been no formal discussion yet, he expects Pacheco's salary will see another significant jump in the next few years.
The mean salary for system presidents in the Big 12 was $270,805 as of September 1999, according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
Hugh Stephenson, president of the board of curators, said he wanted to assure that top administrative salaries were competitive.