U of M Regents approve $500K salary for new provost despite pushback

Updated: December 13, 2019 06:11 PM

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents on Friday approved Dr. Rachel Croson, the Dean at Michigan State University's School of Social Science, as its new executive vice president and provost.

Croson's annual salary, which would exceed $500,000 when factoring in a full-time professorship, drew criticism from state legislators and some regents.

Critics push back against $500,000 salary for prospective U of M provost

On Wednesday, legislators from the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate sent a letter urging regents to delay the vote. In the letter, lawmakers criticized the optics of the move and pointed out that Croson has never previously served as a Provost but would be paid more than outgoing Executive Vice President and Provost, Karen Hanson.

The Finance and Operations Committee voted 8-4 Thursday to approve Croson and the proposed salary, sending the vote to the full board Friday where the result was the same.

More numbers on the new provost hiring:

  • Salary (payouts), according to Regent Michael Hsu:
    • Base: $495,000
    • McKnight Endowed Professorship: $20,000
    • Compensation: $30,000
    • One month salary for moving expenses
  • Start date: March 2020

Croson is the first major hire by new University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel.

Minnesota State Representative Peggy Scott (R-District 35B) issued the following statement to KSTP Friday night:

"It's disappointing that the University continues to legitimize the nationwide bidding war that is driving up administrator salaries and tuition costs for Minnesota families," Scott said. "I had hoped that the regents might hit pause on this process and explore alternative options—I hope moving forward the University will give more scrutiny to administrator salaries, and be more conscientious about the impact rising administrative costs have on student tuition."

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