Report: UMass Presidents Receive Perks, Gobs of Money

Where can we get one of these jobs?

Photo by Mass. Higher Ed. on Flickr/Creative Commons

Keith Motley. Photo by Mass. Higher Ed. on Flickr/Creative Commons

A new report published Thursday by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and WGBH News reveals the bevy of perks showered upon administrators at Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities.

UMass Boston chancellor Keith Motley, for example, receives a $355,059 salary plus a bonus up to $71,012, as well as a car and housing, and free family tuition. If he ever decides to leave the job, he’s guaranteed a position on the faculty with a minimum salary of $280,000, in addition to a one-year sabbatical with one year’s pay. If he’s fired without cause, he can receive up to one year’s salary doing diddley-doo.

And this isn’t an outlier—it’s the norm in higher ed., both at public and private colleges. Just ask Boston University president Robert Brown. Or UMass Amherst athletic director Ryan Bamford, whose country club dues are floated by the university.

When former Bridgewater State president Dana Mohler-Faria stepped down last year, he cashed in his unused vacation and sick days for $269,984. And when Holyoke Community College president William Messner departs in July, he’ll be able to exchange his unused vacation and sick days for $44,710.

“For most regular people who don’t have access to this sort of thing—who pay the bills associated with their kids’ tuition or their own—this is the kind of thing that really grates on people,” Gov. Charlie Baker told the NECIR. “There’s a credibility issue here.”

In addition to the secret performance goals stashed away from public eye in administrators’ personnel file, many top Massachusetts university heads receive free tuition for their spouse and children. Under the terms of UMass Medical School executive vice chancellor Terence Flotte’s contract, for example, his three kids can enjoy a full ride at any of the four UMass undergraduate campuses, or the equivalent of full UMass Amherst tuition and fees at any other college or university.

Spokespeople for the chancellors at UMass Boston, Amherst, and the medical school deferred to system president Marty Meehan, whose office did not return the NECIR’s requests for comment.

You can check out the NECIR’s story here, as well as a list of university heads’ perks.