ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The chairman of the University System of Maryland said Thursday that he will propose changes to the system's compensation procedure for future chancellors and institutional presidents after questions about a new chancellor's contract.
Before a panel of lawmakers in Annapolis, James Brady, the system's chairman, discussed the changes he will make to the Board of Regents at its next meeting in September. Brady said he will ask the board not to use a bonus alternative in compensation arrangements going forward for chancellors or presidents.
"That is not to say that there's anything wrong with that alternative, but I think there are better ways to accomplish our objects than through the bonus apparatus," Brady said.
Brady also said he will recommend that board votes on salaries be made public immediately after a vote in closed session, instead of only after inquiries.
Controversy arose this summer concerning Chancellor Robert Caret's compensation. It allowed for a $75,000 bonus if he met or exceeded performance goals. That was in addition to a raise of $30,000 to his salary of $600,000 a year. The board approved the bonus for Caret in June in a closed-door meeting.
Brady noted that Caret was serving as chancellor at the University of Massachusetts System before he was identified as the top choice for the job. That system had five campuses instead of the 12 in Maryland's system. The Massachusetts system, which has a budget of about $3 billion, serves about 75,000 students, compared with 160,000 students in Maryland, where the system has a budget of about $5.1 billion.
Brady said the objective was to roughly match Claret's previous compensation.
"To be clear, this bonus component of the chancellor's compensation package was only included to bring his total compensation into parity with his UMass compensation," Brady said. "The bonus was essentially at risk, pending his achievement of clearly stated goals."
Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, noted that questions about the added compensation arose, largely because of rising tuition. "It is really hard to justify this to the students, I think," King said.
House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, said he supports the policy revision outlined by Brady.
"With so many Marylanders struggling to pay tuition and living paycheck to paycheck, leaders across state government should remember the challenges of average Maryland and make decisions accordingly," the speaker said in a statement.
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