The University Record, July 22, 2002

President’s contract approved

By Laurel Thomas Gnagey

The Board of Regents approved a contract for incoming President Mary Sue Coleman during a special phone meeting July 15.

The new president’s base salary for 2002–03 will be $475,000. She will receive full benefits according to the University’s plan for executive officers. Cole-man also will have the standard University retirement package, which calls for her to pay 5 percent and U-M to match with a 10 percent contribution.

Other highlights of the agreement include:

  • An additional 403b (retirement) contribution of $27,500 in each of the next four years and $7,708 in the fifth year

  • Deferred compensation of $75,000 per year, to be fully vested after five years

  • A retention bonus after five years of $500,000

  • An automobile for business and personal use

  • Use of the president’s residence

  • Staff for housekeeping and personal assistance

    In addition to finalizing her contract, the University announced that Coleman’s husband, Kenneth, will apply as a transfer student to the Institute of Social Research graduate program in survey methodology. He has been taking courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    A letter of agreement from Interim Provost Paul Courant, signed by Kenneth Coleman, commits the University to provide an office for Coleman and to assist him in securing a job at some point in the future. Kenneth Coleman is a political scientist who specializes in Latin-American politics.

    Presidential search costs tallied

    It cost nearly $200,000 less to recruit Mary Sue Coleman than it did to identify former President Lee C. Bollinger. The most recent presidential search expenses totaled $334,637 while the prior search costs came in at $503,186.

    Most of the difference was in legal fees that were considerably higher in 1997 because of media challenges to the search process under the Open Meetings Act. The Michigan Supreme Court later ruled that university presidential searches are not subject to the same legal requirements under the Open Meetings Act as gatherings of other public bodies.

    The most recent search costs included consultant fees and expenses for A. T. Kearney Executive Search of Chicago. The sum also included salary and benefits for Barbara Wagner, administrative associate in the Office of the Provost, who was assigned to work with the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and the regents; and for supplies, travel, equipment and advertising.