Regents give Gamble high marks, and a salary boost

The Board of Regents on Sept. 23 approved an 8.5 percent increase to President Gamble’s pay, bringing it to $320,075 annually. Board members said they supported the motion, offered by Regent Mary Hughes, for two primary reasons: 1) to move the salary closer to current market rates for university system presidents at peer institutions and 2) for exceptional performance following his first year on the job.

Even with the raise, the UA president’s salary is 76.5 percent of the market rate.  UA historically has used 90 percent of the market median for presidents of peer institutions as a benchmark in setting the president’s salary. The president’s pay increase will be funded from the same source used for all executive salaries (unrestricted funds).

The motion passed on an 8-1 vote. Regent Ken Fisher of Juneau said his vote against the motion was for fiscal reasons, and that the previous salary was sufficient. Regents Carl Marrs of Anchorage and Jo Heckman of Fairbanks were absent.

Chair Cowell explained that the regents offered the president a lower salary when he started last year ($295,000 compared to the previous president’s $370,000 base/bonus total) with the intention of assessing and rewarding performance in the first year.  The national search consultant who advised the regents last year noted at the time that a competitive starting salary for a system president ranged from between $300,000 to $350,000.

Regents cited examples of Gamble’s performance as reasons to bring his salary up to market levels, including completion of the Academic Master Plan in collaboration with faculty, an emphasis on cooperation and teamwork between campuses and chancellors, the Strategic Direction effort and improved communication.

UA strives to keep its salaries at competitive levels for all positions, and uses appropriate benchmarks for market salary comparisons.

Employees who have questions about their pay relative to market should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.

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