University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has been given a one-time merit award that lifts his annual compensation by $112,500, or 15 percent, to $862,500.
The Board of Regents also increased pay for five other system executives, in one case by more than $94,000.
The regents kept base pay flat for most presidents of the system’s 15 academic and health campuses for the 2014 budget year, which began Sept. 1. Pay for about half of the dozen or so vice chancellors and other executives of the system also stayed the same.
However, all of the campus presidents and most of the system executives could get bonuses when the Board of Regents meets in November. These would be the first such awards under a pay-for-performance plan adopted by the regents in August 2012.
Under that plan, the officials could receive bonuses of up to 15 percent of their base pay for achieving various goals. For campus presidents, the goals involve fundraising, graduation rates, cost-cutting through shared services and sponsored research.
Among system executives, the chancellor, regents’ general counsel and chief audit executive are not part of the performance plan. But all received one-time merit awards.
The chancellor’s award was for efforts to implement a strategic plan, including work to establish a new university and medical school in South Texas, said Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, a spokeswoman for the system.
Cigarroa’s compensation had remained unchanged at $750,000 since his appointment in 2009, apparently at his insistence. He declined an unspecified raise for the 2011 budget year and a $50,000 merit award for the 2013 budget year.
System officials said a year ago that base pay for executives and campus presidents would be held flat for the 2014 budget year, when the performance pay kicks in.
But Randa Safady, the system’s vice chancellor for external relations, saw her base pay go up by $94,254 to $550,000, a 20.7 percent increase. Cigarroa said in a written statement that the purpose was to retain her as the system’s chief fundraiser.
“Randa is respected as a national leader in her field and has consistently been recruited by the premier institutions across the country,” Cigarroa said. “Her very specialized work and advocacy with the 15 UT institutions and broad philanthropic community is extremely critical to the success of private support across the UT System.”
Francie Frederick, general counsel to the regents, received a one-time merit award of $63,135, which raised her pay 15 percent to $484,035. Mike Peppers, the system’s chief audit executive, got $18,295, lifting his pay 5 percent to $384,195.
The highest-paid campus leader is Ronald A. DePinho, president of the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. His pay stayed the same at $1.8 million, not counting any performance pay he might be awarded.
UT-Austin President Bill Powers, who has been at odds with some regents over fundraising, tuition and other matters, will be paid $624,350 this year, not counting any bonus he might get. He received $50,000 more last year in the form of deferred compensation, but his three-year agreement for that type of pay has run its course.