New UT Austin President Turned Down $1M Salary Offer

May 13, 2015

When officials of the University of Texas System hired Gregory Fenves as the new president of the flagship campus at Austin, they said his base salary would be $750,000. The Austin American-Statesman filed an open records request for documents related to the offer and discovered something that was left off the press release-- the system offered Fenves a base salary of $1 million, and he turned it down, saying that he didn't want to be paid that much. And while he is eligible for a 10 percent bonus based on various performance metrics, that's smaller than the 12 percent bonus the system proposed.

In an email Fenves sent to system officials, he explained why he was turning down $1 million as the base figure. "With many issues and concerns about administrative costs, affordability and tuition, such a salary will affect the ability of the president to work with the Texas Legislature on matters important to the university,” he said. Fenves added that such a large salary would attract “widespread negative attention from students and faculty given the difficult budgetary constraints of the past five years.”

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