UT puts cap on salaries paid administrators who shift to teaching

The University of Tennessee is putting new limits on “retreat salaries,” payments to former administrators when they take a teaching job after retirement, reports the News Sentinel.

Under the old policy, former administrators could be paid 75 percent of their previous salary after moving to faculty positions – in some cases far more than any other professor in an academic department. Under the new policy, former administrators will be limited to a maximum of 125 percent of salary paid to top professor in a department  — except in special cases.

For example, former UT Knoxville Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Susan Martin currently earns $258,386 as a professor in the Department of Classics, while the next highest paid professor in the department earns less than half that, at $120,384.

Under the policy approved Monday, Martin would not be allowed to earn more than 125 percent of the highest faculty salary in the department, meaning her salary would be no more than $150,480.

… The policy also allows for the board of trustees to make exceptions for administrators who have “provided extraordinary service” to the university.

There are no written guidelines for what constitutes “extraordinary service,” but officials at Monday’s executive and compensation committee meeting said requiring a supervisor to come to the board of trustees to justify an exception would ensure that exceptions aren’t granted all the time.

“We can’t make it so rigid that we don’t have some form of exception,” said vice chair of the board of trustees Raja Jubran. “At the same time, we shouldn’t accept just any recommendation for a change. It does set a precedent and we have a way of falling into that.”

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