Hundreds of top officials and administrators at the University of Connecticut received raises this fall after their evaluations, many of the increases topping $10,000.
Warde Manuel, the university’s athletic director, saw his salary jump by $22,500, which brought his annual pay to $472,500.
John Elliott, the dean of the business school, got a $17,550 raise, which brought his salary to $407,550.
Mun Choi, the flagship university’s provost, got an $18,500 raise, bringing his salary to $388,500. (See the full list of the raises here.)
A spokeswoman for UConn said the raises –- which will cost the college system $1.3 million this year -– did not need to be approved by the system’s governing board, because money for the raises was included in the omnibus budget the board approved last summer.
“This money was allocated out of fairness,” said UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz, pointing out that the system’s union workers also received raises this year.
“It’s an equity issue, equity between the classes,” Reitz said.
The state’s other public college system last week declined The Mirror’s request for the salaries of its employees who are slated to receive raises.
Fiscal challenges at UConn
The raises, which went into effect in August, come at a time that the university is facing fiscal challenges. UConn took $30.9 million from its emergency reserves this year to balance nearly 3 percent of its budget with one-time revenue. The cost to attend the university rose by 6.3 percent this year, and it’s scheduled to increase by another 6.2 percent next school year.
Reitz said because the raises don’t exceed 5 percent of any employee’s salary, they are appropriate because they were based on merit. In addition, she said, most of these employees had not had a raise in two years.
She added that the raises did not need board approval because, in 1977, the system’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution requiring that non-union employees receive raises whenever union employees get raises.
Regarding the Board of Regents’ reluctance to release information on the raises slated to be awarded later this month to officials in the state’s other public college system, a spokeswoman said last week that if the size of the raises were made public, it would reveal how the employee fared on his or her job evaluation. State law restricts the release of information from an employee’s evaluation. However, employee salaries have historically been readily available.
When asked why UConn released this information, Reitz said, “Because we consider it public information.”
State Sen. Toni Boucher, the ranking Republican on the legislature’s Higher Education Committee, said the move by the largest public college system in the state to keep salaries a secret a mistake.
“I am calling on the governing board of the Board of Regents for Higher Education to release the list of raises they approved last week. Pay raises in and of themselves are not personnel evaluations and are subject to public review. This is another example of the administration’s lack of transparency. If the raises are warranted, there should be no reluctance to share the information,” Boucher said. “It is extremely disappointing to see pay increases of up to 6.5 percent for those at the top of the BOR when tuition and fees have been increased.”
Raises of UConn’s 223 management/ nonclassified employees.
1977 UConn Board of Trustees Resolution.
State law on releasing employee’s evaluations.