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July 26, 2007

Retention bonuses for 4 administrators continued

Four senior administrative officers will continue to earn the same deferred retention payments for each year they remain at their jobs as they have for the past five years, Pitt officials confirmed this week.

Under a program introduced by the Board of Trustees in 2002, Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg this month received $75,000 for each year of service from July 1, 2002, through June 2007 as an incentive to continue serving as Pitt chancellor.

James V. Maher, senior vice chancellor and provost; Jerome Cochran, executive vice chancellor, and Arthur G. Ramicone, vice chancellor for Budget and Controller, received deferred bonuses of $50,000 per year under the same conditions. The bonuses are in addition to the officers’ base salary and other executive benefits.

Last December, the trustees’ compensation committee voted to extend the plan beyond the original five years, but did not specify details of the extension. (See Dec. 6 University Times.)

According to Robert Hill, vice chancellor for Public Affairs, the four officers will be paid deferred incentive bonuses in the same amounts annually on July 1 until further notice. “There are no current plans either to increase plan amounts or to expand the plan to include additional officers, though future changes are possible,” Hill said. “The plan will be re-assessed periodically by the compensation committee. It is expected that the plan will remain in place as long as the committee continues to believe that annual retention payments are important for maintaining competitive officer compensation and promoting stability within the University’s senior leadership team.”

Hill said the five-year retention plan completed on June 30 has been funded on an ongoing basis, with the University annually reserving the deferred amounts in unvested University accounts for each officer covered by the plan.

Hill added that such deferred retention bonus plans now are commonplace at U.S. public universities, citing The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2006 “Report on Executive Compensation.”

—Peter Hart

Pitt’s Board of Trustees has approved operating and capital budgets for the fiscal year that began July 1, voting unanimously on July 20 to approve the measure that includes increases in pay for University employees and tuition hikes for students.

Although trustees were prepared to move forward with the University budget, a vote was delayed until the Pennsylvania legislature passed its fiscal year 2008 budget and Governor Edward G. Rendell on July 17 approved the appropriation of $186.9 million for Pitt in FY08.

Highlights of the University’s budget include:

Operating Budget: $1.64 billion

Salary Pool increase: 3.5 percent

Tuition increase:

In-state (Pittsburgh campus): 6.5 percent

Out-of-state (Pittsburgh campus): 4.5 percent

In-state (Regionals): 4 percent

Out-of-state (Regionals): 2 percent

Capital Budget: $193.9 million

Key capital projects:

Parran/Crabtree Hall renovations: $41.7 million

Benedum Hall renovations: $35.8 million

University Club renovations: $15.6 million

Falk School addition and renovation: $13.7 million

(See related story this issue.)

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