Regents chairman defends Kaler’s salary

Having a rich and vibrant discussion on significant issues is an important part of any editorial page. But just as critical is accuracy and getting the facts correct.
A Feb. 2 Minnesota Daily editorial, âÄúStart cuts at the top,âÄù did a great disservice to a legitimate public policy issue âÄî presidential compensation âÄî by incorrectly stating that President-designate Eric Kaler is receiving a 34 percent raise over current President Bob Bruininks. That is a glaring distortion.
Basic research, or even looking at how the Daily has reported in the past on presidential compensation, would have shown that there are two parts to how a president is paid: base salary and supplemental retirement or deferred compensation. Depending on what stage a person is in his or her career, these parts can be structured differently.
The facts on the current and future presidentâÄôs total compensation are this: Kaler will make just $5,000 more than Bruininks when you combine base salary and supplemental retirement. That will put him sixth in the Big Ten, behind Ohio State, Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan and Illinois.
Does the president of the University of Minnesota have a big salary? Yes. ItâÄôs a very big job. Is the salary âÄî either current or future âÄî out of line with the marketplace or the responsibilities? Absolutely not.
Hopefully, in the future, the Daily Editorial Board will provide accuracy along with its opinions.