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Originally published May 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Page modified May 2, 2011 at 10:52 PM

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Base salary for new UW president set at $550,000 a year

Incoming University of Washington President Michael Young will make about $100,000 less than his predecessor, Mark Emmert, but he will still see a big boost in his base salary.

Seattle Times higher education reporter

quotes How many deserving in-state students will be denied entry to pay for a salary greater... Read more
quotes Still too much, but I could certainly never do his job! Why not a commission-base pay... Read more
quotes Outrageous! Read more

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Incoming University of Washington President Michael Young will make about $100,000 less than his predecessor, Mark Emmert, but he will still see a big boost in his base salary.

Young's annual pay will be $550,000 a year. That's a 58 percent increase in the base salary he makes as president of the University of Utah.

The five-year contract, approved Monday morning during a special meeting of the UW Board of Regents, also includes a "golden handcuff" clause that will pay him $193,000 in deferred compensation each year. Young will be able to collect the full amount, nearly $1 million, at the end of five years; if he leaves the university before then, though, he won't receive any of that money.

Young has said he would take less than his predecessor, whose salary was a sore point for some lawmakers, faculty members and the public. At one point, Emmert was the second-highest-paid public-university president in the country.

Regents Chairman Herb Simon said Young's pay will rank him around the middle of the top-10 highest-paid public-university presidents.

Some other details of the contract:

• Young will make $46,000 a year in retirement benefits and will receive a $12,000 auto allowance, bringing the total value of his package to $802,000 a year.

• He will be allowed to sit on the board for two private for-profit or nonprofit companies or organizations, subject to approval from the regents. Young currently sits on the board of directors for SkyWest, and makes $95,150 a year.

• Young will be required to live at Hill-Crest, the university-owned mansion at 808 36th Ave. E.

• The board also appointed Young as a professor with tenure in the UW's law school. While president, he won't work as a law-school faculty member, but the appointment means he could take a position as law-school professor after he retires from the presidency. Young is 61.

• Under the terms of the contract, if Young marries, the university will pay "reasonable travel and entertainment expenses" for his spouse when she is traveling or entertaining for university business. Young is divorced. Emmert's contract contained a similar clause for his wife.

Currently, as University of Utah president, Young makes a base salary of $348,000. In 2009-10, he reached a five-year anniversary with the school and received a lump-sum $375,000 payout that boosted his salary to $723,000 for that one year. That retention incentive was paid through private donations.

Young will make a lower base salary than Elson S. Floyd, the president of Washington State University, although he will make more money than Floyd through deferred compensation. Floyd makes $725,000 a year, but again this year is giving $100,000 back to the university as a response to the state's financial crisis, making his actual salary $625,000.

Floyd stands to earn a $500,000 retention incentive on June 30, 2012, which will be just past his five-year anniversary with the university.

Young is scheduled to start his new job July 1. At that time, interim President Phyllis Wise will return to her position as university provost.

Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or klong@seattletimes.com

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