University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd announced Thursday that chancellors’ salaries in this fiscal year will be paid entirely out of general operating funds. Last year, part of their salaries was paid with private donations.
Under last year’s system, the majority of each chancellor’s $250,000 salary was paid out of the general operating budget. Private donations were used to pay the remainder of the salaries for the chancellors at University of Missouri-St. Louis, University of Missouri-Rolla and University of Missouri-Kansas City. At MU, the remainder of Chancellor Richard Wallace’s salary was paid with gift funds from unspecified sources.
“Using private donations for chancellor salaries was the correct course of action and was immensely helpful during these hard economic times,” Floyd said in a statement. “However, public reaction to the use of private donations has been mixed, with some maintaining that public accountability was being compromised.”
In June, some of these concerns were addressed when Gov. Bob Holden signed a revision to the Open Meetings and Records Law classifying the UM Board of Curators as a public body. The board is now responsible for releasing the names of private donors.
If the board does not comply with these regulations, it can face a maximum penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation of the law. The previous maximum was $500.
The revision to the Open Meetings and Records law did not sit well with many of the system’s donors who planned to remain anonymous, said UM system spokesman Joe Moore.
In addition to being paid out of general operating funds, chancellors will also receive a 2 percent pay increase, bringing their salaries to $255,000.
“An increase is needed to set the salary by the market average,” Moore said. “If we lag behind, there will be retention and hiring issues in the future.” Moore said the campuses will use cost-cutting procedures to make up the portion that had been paid by private donations.
“It will take several years to make up for the lost state of appropriations,” Moore said.