UW president’s salary ranks 12th among public universities

University of Washington President Michael K. Young is the 12th highest-paid public-university president in the country, according to a national survey of college presidential pay.

Young’s base pay of $550,000, combined with the money he will earn in deferred compensation if he remains president for five full years, gives him a total compensation package of $768,500.

That puts him at 12th among the presidents of 191 public research institutions in 2011-12, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

It’s the first time Young has appeared on the Chronicle’s list as president of the UW, but there’s nothing new about his compensation package, which was worked out in April 2011 — when he was hired — and has not changed since then.

The salary of Young’s predecessor, Mark Emmert, was often a sore point with legislators and the public. Emmert routinely came in as the second- or third-highest paid president of a public college. Emmert, who now heads the National Collegiate Athletic Association, had an annual compensation package of $905,000 in 2009, his last full year at the UW.

Young got a substantial salary boost when he moved to Washington. In his previous job as president of the University of Utah, Young made a base salary of $348,000. In 2009-10, he reached a five-year anniversary with the school and received a lump-sum $375,000 payout that boosted his salary to $723,000 for that one year. That retention incentive was paid through private donations.

The Chronicle report also lists Young’s free lodging as a benefit. Young and his wife, Marti Young, live in Hill-Crest, a mansion overlooking Lake Washington that was willed to the UW in 1931 with the stipulation that the president live there. The house is currently valued at $8.5 million.

The Chronicle also shows that Washington State University President Elson Floyd ranked 35th among public-university presidents for his pay — down from 26th the previous year. Floyd makes $625,000 in base pay, and the university also sets aside retirement pay of $25,000 a year. Floyd and his wife also live in a university-owned mansion on the Pullman campus.

According to the Chronicle, the median total compensation for presidents at 191 public research institutions for 2011-12 was $441,392, a 4.7-percent increase over 2010-11. The median base salary rose by 2 percent, to $373,800.

Washington’s four other public four-year colleges were not among the 191 schools surveyed because they are not classified as research institutions.