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Published July 21, 2024

BREAKING: Proposed significant pay increase on the horizon for UMN President 

The Board of Regents announced it will consider a new contract that includes an increase in annual compensation for President Joan Gabel at its upcoming meeting. 
Image by Jasmin Kemp
University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel fields questions from the Minnesota Daily in her office on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel is poised to receive a significant salary increase, which could bring her earnings to over $1.1 million in the next five years, as part of a new contract proposed by the Board of Regents.

If approved by the board at their Friday meeting, the new contract will increase Gabel’s current salary of nearly $650,000, to $660,968, effective as of Dec. 1. The contract also outlines annual salary increases between 3% and 5% until the end of the contract term, which could bring Gabel’s salary to nearly $800,000 salary by 2026, not including supplemental retirement benefits.

The new contract could also extend Gabel’s employment by another two years, according to docket materials.

The contract review and salary increase come after the University experienced significant financial struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in pay cuts, hiring freezes and the elimination of several athletics programs in 2020.

Also included in the new contract is the eligibility for annual performance bonuses of up to $50,000 in 2022, and up to $100,000 each following year. Performance bonuses will be based each year on goals and objectives determined by Gabel and the Board of Regents Chair, according to the docket.

Gabel will also receive an annual car allowance of $5,000 in 2022 and $10,000 in each subsequent year. The University will reimburse Gabel up to $15,000 each year for the cost of an annual executive physical assessment, according to the agenda. 

The proposal for an updated contract with an increase in salary and benefits comes after the Board analyzed presidential compensation at similar Big Ten universities. According to the agenda, the pay increases reflect the average of comparable universities.

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