USM Board of Regents Accepts Consultants' Report on New Compensation Philosophy

Compensation for Three Presidents Adjusted

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 15, 2017) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents (BOR) today approved a recently completed analysis of compensation for senior system executives, including the chancellor and presidents of the 12 institutions, as well as new guidelines for remunerating them based primarily on successful performance.  In accordance with the new analysis and guidelines, the BOR also voted to increase the compensation of three university presidents.


In 2016, the BOR commissioned Sibson Consulting, an independent HR consultant, to review USM’s current system for compensating senior executives.  The analysis was designed to serve as the basis for a new long-term compensation framework that fosters USM’s mission of being among the best higher education enterprises, individually and collectively, as judged by its peers and as recognized by the citizens of Maryland based on cutting edge research, up-to-date teaching practices, and service contributions to its communities.


Sibson’s report determined that while the system’s governance structure of a single board overseeing all institutions is consistent with most public systems, the executive compensation process could be further improved through the adoption of a more uniform set of tools and approaches.  The report’s recommendations included the creation of an executive compensation philosophy that outlines goals and desired objectives of the executive compensation program, as well as more systematized performance assessments and periodic remuneration reviews to ensure that individual presidential compensation packages reflect successful performance and continue to be competitive with their peers in the national market.


At its regularly scheduled September 15 meeting, the BOR voted to approve the Sibson report and to approve a compensation philosophy that was created based on the report’s recommendations.  Also based on Sibson’s recommendations, the BOR reviewed the compensation packages of the current chancellor and presidents and voted to grant increases to three of the 12 institution leaders.


The compensation philosophy explicitly ties compensation to strong performance, as determined by regular assessments of progress against specific annual goals.  Other factors include the state’s financial condition, equity and retention concerns and the competitive market.


“USM strongly believes in a high-performance culture that is supported and modeled by its executives,” the document states. “Compensation must be linked to performance. It should also recognize the value of successful experience in its leaders, both for new leaders and for leaders who have sustained successful performance over a long period of time.”


“An excellent public university system is key to growing Maryland’s economy and creating jobs and opportunities for our citizens,” said James Brady, Chairman of the Board of Regents.  “An excellent state higher education system requires excellent students, excellent faculty and excellent university leadership.  To attract and retain this caliber of individual, including nationally recognized leaders, we must offer compensation packages that are competitive with what these individuals could earn in other states.”  


“At the same time, we must ensure that strong and successful performance is the primary basis for all compensation decisions,” Brady continued.  “Performance and accountability must be key.  In accepting the Sibson report, approving the new compensation philosophy and, based on the data and new guidelines, adjusting the salaries of three high-performing presidents, the Board of Regents today further strengthened the tie between pay and performance for all USM leaders.  Maryland is fortunate to benefit from the abilities of such high-caliber stewards of our students’ collective futures.”


The three presidents – University of Maryland, College Park’s Wallace Loh, University of Maryland University College’s Javier Miyares, and Salisbury University’s Janet Dudley-Eschbach – were awarded increases of $75,000, $50,000 and $20,000, respectively, based primarily on strong performance as the leaders of their respective institutions.  In the cases of Loh and Miyares, the increases also bring their compensation closer to the median earned by peers at comparable institutions nationwide.  According to an analysis included in the Sibson report, Loh’s compensation stands at the 43rd percentile compared to presidents of similar universities, while Miyares’ stands at the 37th percentile.  The newly approved compensation philosophy targets the 50th percentile on average for system presidents, dependent on several other factors, strong performance first among them. 


All increases begin retroactively on July 1, 2017.



Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719