W2 wages obtained by The Eastern Echo under the Freedom of Information Act show that of the top 50 highest paid employees at Eastern Michigan University, 39 received an increase in pay between 2009 and 2010.
All of the top 50 employees received more than $150,000 in 2010 and altogether their wages amounted to a total of $8,812,783.09.
The top 50 is comprised of individuals within the athletics department; senior executives — the president, various vice presidents, deans and miscellaneous executives; senior administration members such as academic department heads and directors of academic areas; senior administration responsible for student services and support areas; and professors within various departments.
The top earner for both 2009 and 2010 was EMU’s head football coach Ronald English with $295,822 in 2009 and $352,449.99 in 2010. English received an increase of $56,627.99 — 19.1 percent.
EMU President Susan Martin said she believes his salary is comparable to other institutions within the MAC.
“I think if you look at other salaries, his salary is reasonable,” Martin said. “It’s not at the top of the MAC. I really believe in the student athletes here. They add to the campus here. … Our Olympic Sports [track and field and swimming] have very strong legacies. I think it’s part of the college experience. A major university has athletics.”
EMU’s Chief Financial Officer John Lumm said athletics accounts for “roughly” $10 million of the general fund or 3.5 percent.
The second highest-paid individual, President Martin, received $284,553 in 2009 and $283,884.51 in 2010.
Donald Loppnow, former Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, received $207,707 in 2009 and $267,506.58 in 2010—an increase of $59,799.58 or 28.7 percent.
Loppnow has since returned to being a social work professor at the university and James Gallaher, chief human resources officer, said although Loppnow is no longer the provost, his pay will stay almost the same. Gallaher said there is a “formula” that makes this possible.
“When an administrator goes back into the faculty, they get 75 percent of their administrative salary,” Gallaher said. “The idea there is that as a faculty member, you’re not required to work summers, so essentially, it’s three quarters of a year. A quarter of their salary is taken away.”
Rounding out the top five, current provost Jack Kay, the third top earner for 2010, earned $251,514.72; Kenneth McKanders, former general counsel for the university, received $238,740.39; and Charles Ramsey, men’s basketball coach, earned $209,035.47.
Gallaher said pay rates are determined a variety of ways at the university.
“We have seven unions and each of the unions have parameters,” he said. “For instance, clerical and secretarial folks have a step program where each and every couple of years they are eligible for a step increase.”
Gallaher said administrative pay is determined differently.
“They are determined on a merit basis,” he said. “It’s just year-to-year.”
When it comes to keeping track of the hours worked by salaried workers, such as senior executives, Gallaher said each individual is responsible for inputting their own time and someone within the department checks it off.
“Folks are expected to work a minimum of 40 hours, but most salaried work about 50-to-60 hours a week,” he said.
March 27, The Detroit Free Press published an article entitled, “Amid tougher times, spending on payroll soars at Michigan universities” detailing increases in compensation at the 15 public institutions in the state.
The Free Press compiled their information from the Higher Education Institutional Data Inventory and said EMU administration saw an increase of 19.8 percent in pay over five years.
Martin disagreed with the article.
“I’d like to clarify it’s not a pay increase,” she said. “It’s total compensation. We had some positions that were vacant … We added some additional dispatchers which has helped with campus safety … That figure does not reflect pay increase. I think it’s misleading.”
“You’ll really have to pull apart the numbers,” Martin said. “Like I said, we also have overtime in processing applications. We have over 11,000 freshman applications, which is a 2,500 increase.”
Associate professor Jessica Alexander said the article failed to note “context.”
“Perhaps administrators are paid more because two of them are doing the job of five,” Alexander said. “Perhaps I am really naïve, but I don’t view my salary in comparison to administrators. I view my salary in comparison to faculty.”
Michael Boulous, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan agreed with Martin and said, “it was an extremely misleading article.”
“What we have is this reporting system for the state,” Boulous said. “One category is faculty and one is everyone else. … If you worked at the university and you were a student, you would be lumped in that administration category. Buried in that story was the fact that our salaries only went up 9 percent over that five year span. That’s what was buried in that whole article.”
Accounting professor and EMU-AAUP treasurer Howard Bunsis disagreed and said not only was the article not misconstrued in any way, he believes Boulus’s explanation regarding the reporting system was not true.
“That’s not accurate,” Bunsis said. “That’s entirely inaccurate. There are three categories—faculty, administration and service. This is what the administration always does. Their claims of ‘oh, they didn’t give us the right category’ are false. They always say that when they’re caught. This is data that they supplied.”
The data also showed the average pay for administration at EMU was 93,628 in 2009 and 2010. At Central Michigan, administration received $91,389 and at Ferris State, on average, administration received $96,584.
In a March 28 email to the campus community, Martin said the university will be paying attention to cost saving efforts in every place—including administration.
Martin said this process has already begun and the administration plans to “lead with actions” by examining their own pay. She said she donated her recent pay increase to the university.
Bunsis said he doesn’t see administration following through with their plan of shared sacrifice completely and he believes all other options should be exhausted before tuition is raised.
“Well, I don’t think they’ll look at it the way they should,” he said. “What President Martin should start with is first and foremost with administration. Positions that do not have direct contact with students should be examined significantly before we cut academics.”
Student body president-elect Jelani McGadney said he believes administrators do important work and deserve compensation that reflects that, but he believes they should be “very mindful” as to how much they’re paid — especially in these hard economic times.
“We have students coming to school every day who are struggling to balance their school work, being a professional or family life and I think it would be a good example for all if compensation for administrators was not raised this year,” he said.
“I think it would also be a good idea if they gave some of it back to the school,” McGadney said. “Academic programs should be the last thing that is cut, and we all have to make sure we do our best to get through this.”
Senior Nadia Smith said she believes professors deserve more money than the football coach.
“He cannot produce a winning record, yet he still gets paid all of this money,” Smith said. “I feel like EMU is throwing money down the drain by doing this. I think teachers should get paid a little bit more because they have such a high duty and they are responsible for so much more.