Chancellor, senior officers will get 4.25 percent salary increases


Chancellor Patrick Gallagher is among nine Pitt leaders who will receive a 4.25 percent salary increase in 2023, as determined by the Board of Trustees’ Compensation Committee.

Committee members voted unanimously at their Dec. 21 meeting to approve the first pay raises for Pitt’s senior officers since 2019.

Gallagher, who donated 20 percent of his $669,738 salary in 2021, will receive $698,202 in 2023.

The other nine University officers who will receive increased base salaries include:

  • Ann E. Cudd, provost and senior vice chancellor —$495,670

  • Anantha Shekhar, senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and dean of Pitt’s School of Medicine — $1,042,500

  • Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research — $441,946

  • Hari Sastry, senior vice chancellor and chief financial officer — $415,723

  • David DeJong, senior vice chancellor for business and operations — $427,425

  • Geovette Washington, senior vice chancellor and chief legal officer — $446,183

  • Rosalyn Jones, vice chancellor and secretary of the Board of Trustees — $260,625

  • Jeffer Choudhry, chief investment officer — $729,750

  • Paul Lawrence, treasurer — $412,526

Gallagher recommended the increases based on the annual report for fiscal year 2022 he presented at the Sept. 23 Board of Trustees meeting, which sets forth the University’s institutional accomplishments.

“My recommendation is that (these) officers be eligible for the full 4.25 percent raise as having met both their strategic institutional unit goals, and sharing the achievements of the University of last year,” Gallagher said to the Compensation Committee.

Douglas Browning, Board of Trustees chair, explained the decision behind the raises following two years of pandemic-related disruptions and uncertainties.

“It is worthwhile to note that due to the pandemic and the financial uncertainties associated with it, the salaries of the University’s officers were last adjusted in December 2019 for calendar year 2020,” he said. “In addition, at that time, the officers all agreed to voluntarily donate a portion of their 2021 salaries back to the institution to support student scholarships during this period.”

Gallagher donated 20 percent of his salary to the University. Other senior leadership team members — including Shekhar, who had not yet started at Pitt — agreed to donate 10 percent of their salaries, Browning noted.

“And those donations occurred at a time when the officers were being called on to work more, not less. Today I want to recognize these leaders for their service to the University,” he added, “and I want to extend my sincerest thanks for their efforts to advance its mission of teaching, research and service during a time of unprecedented disruption in higher education.”

The 2020-21 budget also included no tuition hikes, a 78 percent reduction in capital spending and a permanent budget cut of 3.7 percent across the board, on average, along with a one-time cut of 5 percent.

Criteria for Gallagher’s recommendation are tied to “achieving the strategic goals of the University and the institutional goals of the units that those officers are responsible for,” he said, and the average increase of the pool available for University faculty and staff. “In other words, for the current year, the maximum officer salary that I (could) propose is 4.25 percent, which was the average of the pay pool that was available for the University employees.”

While the chancellor recommends compensation for senior officers, it’s the Compensation Committee’s responsibility to evaluate and determine the chancellor’s compensation.

“As trustees, we must ensure that this institution is capably led,” Browning noted. “I want to commend Chancellor Gallagher on another remarkable year of his leadership. The University continues to flourish, providing a life-changing, world-class education and research environment that leaves an indelible mark on the commonwealth, the nation and the world.”

Shannon O. Wells is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at


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