Michael Young agrees to 5-year contract, $802,000 annual compensation


Michael Young

A week after accepting the job as university president, Michael Young has now accepted a salary.

The UW Board of Regents approved the soon-to-be UW President Michael Young’s five-year contract yesterday, which listed Young’s total annual compensation at $802,000.

According to a press release from the university, the figure includes Young’s annual base salary of $550,000, “his annual compensation of $46,500 in retirement benefits and a $12,000 automobile allowance.” For each year, the president will also earn $193,500, which will be put into a deferred account. However, in order to collect the deferred sum, Young must remain at the university for the length of the five-year contract.

Board of Regents Chair Herb Simon said in the release that the board believes the contract is fair and reflective of the “competitive marketplace for presidents of major research universities, as well as the current economic conditions the state of Washington is facing.”

Young’s total compensation as University of Utah president for the 2009-10 academic year was about $724,000.

In a press conference held last week at the UW, Young said he would be willing to, and that it was expected that he would, agree to a salary less than that of former UW President Mark Emmert.

“It’s more than inevitable that I’ll accept less,” Young said at the conference.

In 2009, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Emmert was the second-highest-paid public-university president in the United States. If he had stayed at the UW for the 2010-11 academic year, he would have made more than $900,000. Instead, Emmert broke his contract by accepting the position as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in October 2010.

In addition to Young’s compensation, he will follow the tradition of all UW presidents since the 1940s and take residence at the UW’s Hill-Crest mansion, in Madison Park. Living in Hill-Crest, which was given to the UW by the Walker-Ames family in 1939, has been described as an additional benefit to being the UW president.

The home was remodeled in 2005, while Emmert resided there. According to The Seattle Times, the improvements cost $800,000.

Norm Arkans, UW vice president of media relations, said that the university paid for the remodel of the older building because the property is a university facility.

Young will have a tenured appointment in the UW School of Law. Arkans said the president, by definition, is a faculty member and must have an appointment in an academic department. Young’s previous career as a law professor is the reasoning behind this appointment.

Arkans explained that Young’s tenure will give him this appointment for life, which means that after he retires from his presidency, he is eligible to become a law school professor at the university.

Young will begin his term July 1, and Interim President Phyllis Wise will return to her position as provost after this quarter.

Reach reporter Daron Anderson at news@dailyuw.com.

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