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Posted on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

2012 salary report: University of Michigan's top 16 execs collect $7.19M in base pay

By Kellie Woodhouse

The University of Michigan's top 16 executives bring in $7.19 million in base pay— up 5 percent over last year.

Thumbnail image for Dave_Brandon_Podium.jpg

Dave Brandon

The compensation figures were revealed Friday in the university's annual base salary report.

Yet the base pay for several administrators doesn't account for six-figure bonuses or retention perks.

Athletic director Dave Brandon, who has the top base pay of $800,000, is more likely to make upwards of $1 million this year. In addition to his base, Brandon receives $100,000 in annual deferred compensation and has the possibility of a $200,000 bonus. Brandon received a $165,000 bonus last year, the highest possible under his old contract, according to documents obtained by through a Freedom of Information Request.

Per a contract extension established last summer, Brandon could make as much as $1.5M in 2018.

Brandon's pay is a $200,000 increase over last year.


University of Michigan chief investment officer Erik Lundberg.

Booth file photo

Chief investor Erik Lundburg earns a salary of $575,000. However Lundberg, who is in charge of growing U-M's $7.7 billion endowment, actually makes more than double that.

Lundberg earned $1.36 million in 2011, according to W-2 information obtained by through FOIA. That's because Lundberg's pay is tied to the performance of U-M's investments.

"This incentive pay structure is standard for large university endowments and the total cost for managing the endowment is in line with other large endowments in the country," U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald wrote in an e-mail.

Although U-M President Mary Sue Coleman earns a base salary just above $603,000, her actual compensation package is roughly 50 percent higher. In addition to her base salary, she earns a $100,000 yearly retention bonus, $175,000 in annual deferred compensation and $50,000 in annual retirement pay. She also receives the use of a car and residence.


University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman during a Board of Regents meeting on Thursday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Coleman also serves on the executive boards of Johnson & Johnson and Meredith Corp. She took home $425,400 in 2011 for her service on those two boards, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education database derived from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Since Coleman began as president in 2002, her base pay has grown by more than $110,000. Both this year and last year Coleman donated her raise to scholarships. The donations are one-time gifts and the raise is not repeatedly invested in scholarship, according to U-M spokesperson Kelly Cunningham.

U-M regent S. Martin Taylor, who is part of the governing body that establishes Coleman's salary, said that after benchmarking Coleman's salary with her peers he found it's "not out of line in terms of being too high."

"If anything it is too low," he said when the Board of Regents awarded Coleman a raise in September.


Ora Pescovitz spoke at the Deals of the Year awards banquet at Eastern Michigan University Student Center on Nov. 4, 2011.

Jeff Sainlar I

"I am very well compensated," Coleman said in September.

U-M Health System executive officer Ora Pescovitz earns $753,806 in base pay and another $100,000 in deferred compensation. Her bonus can reach $150,000 per year.

In 2011, she earned $855,000, roughly $116,000 more than her base pay then, FOIA documents show.

Doug Strong, UMHS financial chief and Pescovitz's second-in-command, earns $625,770 in base pay and gets another $60,000 in deferred compensation. He also has the possibility of lucrative performance bonuses.

Deborah Kowich, interim general counsel, is earning $312,206 per year —the same as former general counsel Suellyn Scarnecchia, who resigned in May. Kowich will be replaced on Jan. 7 by permanent chief lawyer Timothy Lynch, who will earn $400,000, or 28 percent more than his predecessor.

That's the second-largest salary increase of a top administrator position this fiscal year. He'll bring the earnings of U-M's top 16 executives to $7.28 million.

Lynch wasn't included in the 2012 salary report released by the college.


Executive officers and regents applaud University of Michigan Provost Philip Hanlon during a meeting on Thursday for his appointment to Dartmouth College's presidency, effective July 2013.

Melanie Maxwell |

Merit increases for top executives ranged from 1.5 percent to 5 percent this year. The average merit increase for executive officers —not including Brandon, Strong and Lundberg— was 2.8 percent, compared to an average 2.9 percent merit increase for faculty and a 2.2 percent merit increase for staff.

Merit increases are based on performance and do not include salary adjustments made for other reasons.

Provost Philip Hanlon received the largest merit increase among executive officers. Dartmouth College recently announced that Hanlon would leave U-M to become president of the Ivy League college in July 2013.

Top U-M executives ranked by their base pay:

  • Dave Brandon — athletic director — $800,000, up 33 percent from $600,454. Salary does not come from general fund.
  • Ora Pescovitz — executive VP for medical affairs — $753,806, up 2 percent from $739,025. Salary does not come from general fund.
  • Douglas Strong — CEO of U-M hospitals and health centers — $625,770, up 2.25 percent from $612,000. Salary does not come from general fund.
  • Mary Sue Coleman — president — $603,357, up 3 percent from $585,783. Salary derived fully from general fund.
  • Erik Lundberg — chief investment officer — $575,000, the same as last year. Salary does not come from general fund.
  • Timothy P. Slottow — executive VP and chief financial officer— $568,218, up 3 percent from $551,668. Salary comes fully from general fund.
  • Philip Hanlon — provost and executive VP of academic affairs — $509,292, up 5 percent from $485,040. Salary derived fully from general fund.
  • Timothy G. Lynch, recently tapped as VP and general counsel, will earn $400,000 when he begins Jan. 7. That's 28 percent more than his predecessor, Suellyn Scarnecchia, who earned $312,206. Interim general counsel Deborah Kowich is earning $312,206. Salary derived from general fund.
  • Stephen Forrest — VP for research — $375,396, up 2.7 percent from $365,348. Roughly 83 percent of salary comes from general fund.
  • Jerry May— VP for development — $365,790, up 3 percent from $355,136. Salary comes fully from general fund.
  • E. Royster Harper — VP for student affairs — $309,450, up 2.8 percent from $301,168. Salary derived fully from general fund.
  • Daniel E. Little — U-M Dearborn chancellor — $294,744, up 1.5 percent from $290,388. Salary comes fully from general fund.
  • Cynthia Wilbanks — VP of government relations — $286,303, up 2.7 percent from $278,641. Salary derived fully from general fund.
  • Lisa Rudgers — VP for global communications and strategic initiatives — $278,100, up 3 percent from $270,000. Salary derived fully from general fund.
  • Sally Jo Churchill — VP and secretary for the university — $269,208, up 2.5 percent from $262,642. Salary derived fully from general fund.
  • Ruth J. Person — U-M Flint Chancellor — $265,296, up 1.5 percent from $261,375. Salary comes fully from general fund.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Laurie Barrett

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

Isn't this great news? Oh wait a minute . . . what about this:


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 6:08 a.m.

This is a good example of what the "Occupy Wall Street" folks were protesting. Why does UM get taxpayer funding from the State? To pay these ridiculous salaries?

Dexter Man

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

Maybe one of these folks can pay for my football ticket seating costs of $300. How does the ad who gets a big raise as well as watching the revenue go up 36 percent ask us retired folks on a fixed income to increase my tickets at $75 a pop.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I have always loved how the u of m is one of the most expensive "public" university's in the nation. Must cry to the state for millions for a new rec room yet sits on 7.7 billion dollars that is never used for education or helping students afford it. Also add required comment about millionaires changing against evil millionaires and only in it to enrich themselves and spout there political opinions instead of actually teaching kids stuff.


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

"Must cry to the state for millions for a new rec room yet sits on 7.7 billion dollars that is never used for education or helping students afford it." Your post is beyond nonsensical: 1) over the last 5 years alone, income on the endowment has generated well over $1,200,000,000 in income that has been spent on scholarships and capital programs; 2) the university has aggregated on the order of $1,000,000,000 which is specifically dedicated to generating income for tuition relief; 3) endowment is typically donor restricted by the donor for a specific application...the university doesn't have a magic pot of money it can dip into at will; 4) as posted elsewhere, donor income used to defray capital costs implicitly created a substitution effect by freeing up money that can be spent on tuition relief; 5) despite a 50% cut in state support over the last 10 years, the university has cut tuition and fees such that students total cost of attendance, as reduced by university monies, means that students pay today roughly what they paid 10 years ago. Your post is an embarassment. Educate yourself about what is going on at the university before you shoot from the hip.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

It has been very clear to me that the regents went "native" a long time ago (identifying more with the administrators than the parents of the students) and don't really understand the purpose of their job. It is certainly not to be a rubber stamp and "go along to get along." But that is all they ever do.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Why do companies and universities pay so much money for these people? Am I to believe you can't get good help for at least half what these folks are being paid? You mean to tell me that you can't fine a good man to lead the athletic department at the school for 500,000 a year? lol Fools and our money.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

As far as the comments that some of these folks donate a lot of money. Must be nice to make so much that you have that option. Most workers just don't have that option and as exec's salaries keep going up faster than workers by far, decade after decade, they never will.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

Seems these folks never heard of what they constantly tell the workers - we don't have enough money for your raises to give more than 2 or 3 percent on a good year. Never seems to be to little money for the people running things, they just get more and more.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

And folks wonder why tuition is so high. This article helps to explain it quite clearly.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

All I know is that in state tuition with room and board at UofM is almost equal to the cost that a janitor is getting paid.


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

This article depicts salaries and says NOTHING about the cause for higher tuition. Across America, the HEPA inflation index shows inflation in the sector running several points over general inflation. In addition, tuition reflects thousands of different costs above and beyond faculty compensation. State support in the 1960s used to run roughly $1.3 billion (billion, not million) it is now a fraction of that level. In the last 10 years alone, state contributions to UM have declined by 50%, or 5% per annum uncompounded. State cuts at 5%/year and incremental inflation of 2% or so per year explain 7%/year. There are other numerous explanations, including declining state support for capital projects. State support for capital projects runs around $25MM/year. With depreciation eating up $175MM/year in capital value, state capital contributions induced a $150MM shortfall in building monies that must be raised from donors. Without donors, the capital base would be very, very badly degraded. Roughly 2/3 of all donations including donations for capital programs comes from out of state alumni. Without sound management by the university, the university's standing would have eroded very badly over the last 10 years.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Actually, the main reason is that teaching as a Professor and teaching K-12 are completely different. Despite being paid more, professors only teach a fraction of the time. When you break down the per pupil cost this is why college is so much more expensive than k-12 (3x...).

Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

I'm thinking it is best to not envy the rich, nor pity the poor. I know a lot of high paid people whose time is not their own and who are completely stressed trying to maintain the obligations and responsibilities they have tied to their wealth. Then I know a lot of people with very little income but who have little stress and thoroughly enjoy each day doing what makes them happy.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Those in high paying jobs knew what would be entailed when they took it - so if they are stressed and time is not their own - oh well. But does that justify the extremely huge salaries. Hmmmmmm.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

It's simple, really. You hire the best, you pay them well, you build a great university and students will come, allowing you to provide jobs for thousands of area people who pay taxes and support the community. Why are there so many who think that's a bad thing?

Laurie Barrett

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 8 p.m.

Because greed is involved. Think of dictators who have helped their populations--two wrongs don't make a right


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

There really is no one who will stop this pillaging and theft.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

The annual posting of salaries is inevitably followed by the annual whining. Some thoughts to consider whilst whining: 1) Brandon has donated $4MM+ to way to look at it is that, as a consequence, he will be working for free for the next 5 years; 2) Dr. Coleman and her husband have donated over $500,000 to the school as well as other smaller but material amounts over the years; 3) in aggregate, during the capital campaign, the faculty as a whole donated well over $100,000,000...I recall something like $130,000,000; in effect, those faculty donated many years of raises back to UM because of their intense loyalty to the institution; 4) Lundberg at the endowment is grossly underpaid relative to the private sector: with his cumulative rate of return, the doubling of endowment over the last 10 years means that the added income of $120,000,000 Per Year offsets his compensation, which in any event would be $5MM a year; Harvard had a similar team and threw them out arguing that they earned market returns...check out their recent performance; 5) Forrest is grossly underpaid, he runs one of the largest research portfolios in the nation and brings in many millions in grants and fee income from the related technology tranfer; he doesn't do this alone, but a manager of an enterprise of that size in the private sector would pull down $2MM/year or more; 6) the complainers talk about expenses but never look at the income/revenue: Michigan routinely places its senior administrators at colleges/universities around country (2 of last presidents of MIT were Michigan PHds); Michigan is typically ranked the #1 or #2 school for teaching university/college administration; 7) despite the complaining on this board, Michigan is a finely managed institution competing with other more wealthy institutions who are able to pay not just more money, but actual private sector rates.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Stephen/Mr. Ranzini: I am a graduate with no affiliation to the school other than having graduated from UM. I track the numbers fairly closely and actually read the annual reports. There is nothing in my various comments which can't be gleaned from those reports or from having worked in the private sector. Most of the comments on here reflect a complete and entire ignorance of how the university's finances work, basic accounting, the dearth of state funding, and the changes in the landscape relative to funding a university in a period of declining support. I believe UM's response to the funding shortfall has been and is exceptional in this regard and most of the posters here have embarrassed themselves by opining with no foundation to do so. UM is one of the most successful not for profits in the US and Ann Arbor would be far poorer in its absence. Very few posters here seem to grasp what the landscape would look like in Ann Arbor, and Michigan more generally, in that alternate reality. I have no conflict to disclose.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

@Blue85: Do you work for or have a consulting contract related to public relations with U-M? If so, I think from an ethical point of view you ought to please disclose that fact.

Steven Murphy

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

I would like to know what the janitors get paid there. It's those at the top that decide how much the janitors are to be paid, not the other way around. Sooo it would certainly give some insight into the kinds of hearts the big-wigs at Michigan have if we knew how much they pay their janitors.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Custodian Level 1 UM Salary Number of people with this title: 766 Maximun Salary $ 32,968.00 Average Salary $ 31,626.62 Mminimum Salary $ 29,827.20


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

Keep focus on the W2 or total compensation and ask yourself is UM better off today then it was when these guys started ? Tuition lower ? Health System prepared to move into the next phase of health care in Michigan ? Athletics given the proper priority ? Employees given resources to do the job ? Cuts to benefits reasonable ? NCRC a winner as promised ? Public Private relationships in place ? Year of China ? parking for UMHS staff ? Just asking' .....

Tom Todd

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

Screw the middle class the 1% deserve more money they do all the work.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

well, they do pay all the taxes !!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

Vitually guarantee that almost all of them are Dems. How can this be justified when they have been raising the tuition by 7% a year- while the average mid-class lost an avg of $20000. The chardoney elite have taken over now go eat your brie

Great Lakes Lady

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

U of M salaries correlate closely with corporate CEOs, Wall Street, banking, etc.....


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Entirely incorrect: UM salaries are a fraction of the private sector compensation for the jobs performed. That fraction runs roughly 1/4 to 1/5 of the private sector. Pull down compensation figures for the head of research at Xerox or comparable company; pull down the same figures for NBA and NFL coaches. UM figures are in that range of 1/4 to 1/5 due to the love of the institution. Believe, none of these people will miss a meal and I'm not going to send then a get well card, but the reality is they are underpaid by the private sector metric.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

So where is their EBIT, and are they accountable for. Who was fired after the resident was caught with pedophelia material


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

some pitcher you barely know just resigned with the Tigers for $16 million a year is he, like Verlander great? well 48-51 with a 3.75 career ERA and the most wins in a season was 13 so all told, the University of Michigan's top 16 execs collect $7.19M in base pay - one of the largest and most important (for various reason) universities and the top 16 people earn half of what Sanchez will earn collectively, in one year some people are over paid and some actually earn their money you pick


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

different, yes all that different from placing value on services in relation to the size and scope of an organization (and budget) not that different


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

It's not a matter of what a professional athlete is worth. Professional athletes' salaries are due to the money brought in by advertisers who reach millions on t.v.. If it doesn't pay for advertisers to pay as much as they do, then athletes' salaries would be cut. The situation at the U. of M. and other public (and private) universities is different.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Mary Sue Coleman has the best perks of them all. Remember that she was granted by the Board an age extension during the past year. And the tuition rates will keep on rising.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

For information on the four U-M budgets, see: As for the claims of taxpayer "ownership" of the University, that's not the right, or at least not the definitive, issue. Better question: who pays for it? The state legislature's contribution this year is about $273 million, a bit under 5% of the total University budget, which is something near $6 Billion. The legislature's contribution is down by more than half in the last half dozen years, as Michigan's economy suffers. See also:

Jay Thomas

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

The State does own the school. The administrators certainly do not. How much of it was built with state money from the beginning? Reminds me of public broadcasting and Sesame Street. It doesn't matter how much the .gov puts in the kitty today, when it started it was all government seed money!


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

The current book value of the campus is around $4.8 billion. The current administration has spent $500MM/year over the last 10 years to renovate the campus. The practical import is that during the last decade when the state spent around $25MM/year on UM's capital budget, UM donors stepped up and helped to totally rebuild the campus. Two thirds of those donations came from out of state. The state capital appropriation amounts to 5% of the current capital base; in consequence, 95% of the capital assets and 100% of the endowment was contributed by wealthy alums and by foundations. To say that the taxpayers of the state "own" the university is complete folly. The state provides a tuition break to in-state students which does NOT actually cover the in-state versus out of state differential. To that extent, the state "owns" 2/3 of every in-state diploma and may harvest income and property tax from alums. However, to suggest that the state owns the physical plant may be a legal reality, but a financial fiction. If UM hadn't been resourceful, the state via its citizens and by its legislature would have destroyed one of the few crown jewels of public education. The state has nearly squandered this resource and UM exists despite the state and its stingy/bankrupt citizens. To suggest that the state owns the school verges on pathetic.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

These highly educated and hard-working people have succeeded in making the UofMI a world-renowned, first class university and they deserve every penny, and more, for their vision and success. The beneficiaries are the thousands of graduates who move on to bigger and better lives. Good job and continued success.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

As an alum, I had a bequest going to the UM in my will. I redirected my bequest to the local SOS Community Service organization after the last salary cycle when they gave the deans of Engineering and Business each a $100,000 raise. This was done during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Current article reaffirms my decision.

Laurie Barrett

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

There are two economies at the U. One for people who control the money, and another for people who do the work. I think the administrators feel that big salaries give the U cachet and status, but the institution itself, its reason for being, what it is in its guts, is all we can take pride in, finally. And we can't do that if the controllers are ripping off the workers just to show off how much money they can wave around. It's disheartening. and disturbing. Dictatorial. Show some humanity for crying out loud.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

It's not fair...They should give-up their fair share...Everybody is the same...working at the same UM...doing the same job...the same the same the same time...all the time...


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

Say what you will about the rest, but Erik Lundburg is worth every penny and more. His tenure is responsible for billions of dollars in investment returns, and decades of future financial stability. Not even the most generous donors match his impact on the bottom line. What's more, he generally outperforms his peers at universities and financial institutions of comparable size. I hope others will join me in saying "thank you."


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

I agree that this is an excellent point. He has a relatively low (yes, I know it is still "high" compared to average workers) base wage and it is easy to assess his performance in true cash terms. For most managed funds you'll pay about 0.1 to 0.2% in management fees. So, on a billion dollar fund, that would be 1-2 million dollars. My guess is that when you include costs for all those managing the investments, it will work out to less than you would pay if almost anyone else was managing it.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:54 a.m.

Agreed. Thanks to Mr. Lundberg...his returns have added billions in assets, and, in consequence, billions in aggregate annual income over the last decade.

Geoff Larcom

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

Excellent point. I found this to be very clear during the years I covered the University as a higher education reporter for The Ann Arbor News.

Steven Murphy

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

I don't want to sound petty, but I wish they'd replace the word "earns" with "receives." (Janitors earn and power-lunchers receive.)


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

Here come all the right wing comments talking about slashing the salaries of those in academia. But defending the BILLIONS of dollars the private sector takes from workers and the government to ship operations overseas.


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

The salaries of government workers vs. the private sector don't even compare. And you know it. The President is the highest paid government employee and he makes $400,000 per year. How many BILLIONS did the Walton's take home last year?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

Conversely Here come all the left wing comments talking about slashing the salaries of those in the private sector But defending the BILLIONS of dollars spent in the public sector!

Evan Smith

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

I still think that these salaries are quite large, but compared to the private sector where the average CEO will make 200 times more money than average employee at their company (upwards of 500 for the larger companies), these salaries are still quite a bargain. I don't necessarily think that this is a UofM problem, but an executive pay problem in general. Why do executives need to be payed at rates of hundreds of times that of an average employee. And why don't we raise taxes on these individuals?


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

Excellent points: 1) the UM people are RELATIVELY underpaid; 2) they are absolutely overpaid; but UM needs to pay market prices for talent; 3) this is therefore a market problem that requires adjustment, but I'm not clear on a sound methodology to effect that change.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

"Why do executives need to be payed at rates of hundreds of times that of an average employee" .....said the average employee...., lol

Steven Murphy

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:39 p.m.

"Why do executives need to be payed at rates of hundreds of times that of an average employee." I've been righteously whining about that for years. As I see it, most CEOs regard average workers as cattle, and the average worker doesn't seem to mind, and so the insanity continues.

Michael Bow

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

This is what's wrong with liberals, they don't understand the free market. Mr. Investor dude is in charge of $7.7 BILLION!!!!! He did so well, that he earned over a million in bonuses. That's right, he grew UofM's cash enough in an Obama economy to actually increase the piggy bank at UofM. He's likely in hot demand and you have to pay him to keep him. I'd love to see what a Liberal would do, they'd likely hire the cheapest bid with the biggest union contract and not pay for performance. This dude performed, I say give him a bigger raise to keep him here!!!!


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Of all of the he's really the only one that deserves his money. He used it right. The rest should be using what he made them to lower tuition and improve education. Not just bathe in it.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

I am a liberal. I'm happy to say that I agree with your assessment of Mr. Lundberg's performance. However,your other comments are moronic and a false generalization. Are you here praise Lundberg, or just grind an axe against liberals? Is the slap against liberals part of your core playbook? I see no connection between one's ability to be a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. This is only difficult for very tiny brains.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.

Tell that to the thousands of UofM employees who are under-paid, who are working as hard as anyone at the UofM, contributing remarkably well in their roles. And these under-paid people are doing remarkable performances as their Department's budgets are being slashed, are very lucky to keep their jobs, let alone see a 1-3% raise a year (a few hundred dollars often - if any). The Fund Manager is a rather exceptional example of being able to tie performance to results. Most UofM employees who may perform just as well or better than "Mr. Investor" are contributing to a team, a Department, the University so their performance cannot be viewed in such a bubble. When there is better pay for the vast majority who keep the University running, these top Administrator salaries might not be so unpalatable to so many. Including to the property owners who PAY the taxes in Ann Arbor to support this supposed "non-profit" organization....


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

Just got my notice that I will be making a mandatory "donation" to the preferred seating program. If I did not have someone else that buys my tickets every year Dave Brandon could stick my tickets where they could not be found!

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

Mel Brooks: "It's good to be the king."


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I don't have too much a problem with their base salaries but the bonuses which make up a large percent of their total comp plus the increases - I wonder how many middle and bottom earners got 5% raises or higher? -or had bonuses at such a high percentage of total compensation? Public sector or private?


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

I got 1.5% which translates to $13/week.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.


Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Too bad these big earners don't help with Pie Day.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

I hope my good friend (who made a whopping 40K) but just got laid-off last week isn't reading this. Ora's raise alone would have paid half her salary! And a 33% raise for the athletic director while my department can't even give us a holiday lunch? go blech.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

Blue - You sure are busy tonight trying to invite as many tangles as you can. BUT I will ask a question. If the UMHS is bleeding right now due to the Mott work, how in God's name does this woman qualify for a salary increase when she is talking about laying off staff? Don't stay up all night thinking about this. I hear that warm milk will help with insomnia.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:48 a.m.

People get laid off for several reasons: 1) They are ineffective at their core job description; 2) they are politically inept; 3) they revenue they were attached to disappeared. If your friend got laid off for the third reason, she should try to re-interview. Ora's raise, based on standard budgeting, was built into the budget framework and has zero to little to do with your friend's are either drawing a false connection or inferring causality without foundation.

Steven Murphy

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

Note to God: As you know, I've been one big loser-schmuck in this lifetime being demeaned by many while I eked-out modest crumbs to live on due to being a bit of a talentless mental midget amidst stiff competition. And so if I must return to this world for another whack at it, Might you consider making me someone that can collect the kind of whooper paychecks that these good people are handed? Thanks! Merry Christmas and Go Blue.:-(


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

And the U is staffed by many doctors (and nurses too) who create miracles and save lives every day with complex surgeries and other innovative treatments. Where are they are on this list?

Laurie Barrett

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

The hospital, like the university, is so top heavy as to be obscene. The greed among the elite is palpable in daily affairs and makes service to the U an ethical dilemma for those the elite corp takes advantage of to make the U operate.

Michael Bow

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

....and these higher paid Physicians are so world famous that they can go to any hospital in the world and get that salary. Normal physicians are actually underpaid for their fields.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

I know there are multiple physicians that make more than $1M at the university. In fact, it's not a stretch to say that physicians are one of the highest earning groups at the university, on a per-person basis at least. This article, however, is focusing on administrators.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Its disgusting that a lot of the upper level people on this list have all these massive bonuses built-in to their job descriptions. I'm sorry, but $100K-$200K is not a bonus, that's a second salary and then some.

Great Lakes Lady

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

How about "spreading the wealth"???


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

I think this news qualifies Brandon to be labeled a Scrooge. He makes a million dollars and yet the vast majority of Ann Arbor residents cannot afford to take their families to a football game. And much worse, untold number of local charities just lost funding they counted on because he canceled BHBH. Not much to admire about this guy.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 4:20 p.m. are completely confusing the race organization company with the dozens, possibly even hundreds of charities, that have used BHBH as a major fundraiser. The charity I am involved with raised several thousand dollars from BHBH and wonders how it can replace the funds. Furthermore, thousands of runners are very disappointed the race will no longer continue and many came from out of state to participate in this unique, marquee event. Brandon's decision to cancel it, citing murky, contradicting reasons has created an enormous amount of ill-will in the community.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Brandon's salary is a small fraction of the budget and probably offset by his merchandising moves and other efforts to put UM on the map. Trying to compare his compensation to the local ability of a family to attend a game is a fairly nonsensical exercise. If people don't want to attend, simply not attending will send a signal that games are over priced. The charity you are talking about, as I understand it, is a for profit group and UM switched its resources to a not for profit entity. If I am wrong I apologize, but based on what I think I know, you are way off base.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

$800,000+ per year to make sure grown men play children's games the "right way". Meanwhile the median income for a family of four taxpayers in Michigan is $48,669 according to the census. Our roads are destroyed, our schools are gutted, crime is through the roof, and these people want to pay someone twice what the President of the United States makes to supervise grown men playing children's games. Great. Just great.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Brandon and others like him get paid large numbers relative to the average because of the rarity factor. This is a staple of economic textbooks at the elementary level: why does the football coach get paid 10 times what a full professor earns. The answer is the rarity factor: even a good econ professor is a dime a dozen whereas a great coach is rare. Universities pay for the rarity factor. If you want to get paid 20 times the average salary, you have to bring a skill set to the table that makes you 1 among a 1,000...if you are that talented, and such talent is rare, you might be worth more than $800,000 a year. Complaining about the ratio is a fair point, but the market sets that ratio, not Brandon and not Michigan. Michigan can choose to not respond to the market and may or may not enjoy good consequences having done so.

Top Cat

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

And this institution is not getting enough aid from the State? It is a den of thieves.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.

Explain your logic Top Cat. What is the connection between the state's rebate for university granted tuition relief correlated with the compensation of top administrators? The answer is that the correlation is VERY weak: administrators are one expense among many thousands of expenses that go into setting the tuition level. Notwithstanding that weak correlation, what you and the other negative pundits ignore are: 1) salaries for comparable work in the private sector; 2) the cost of the alternative path the university more or less effectively managed than the closest competing option...who can answer this?; 3) what is the correlation of input to the university getting its money's worth in terms of effectiveness of the administrators and the level of rankings and what not relative to the inputs applied. Can you draw that correlation for us and compare the university to a peer group and let us know how UM stacks up? Bottom line: it is difficult and costly to create intellectual property and to educate the mind works is still largely a suggest that is easy to price the creation of that capital is the height of folly.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

What, no mandatory donation to the UM Athletic Department for these people???


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

Only 5% ? I thought last year's economic growth in China was much higher. I guess our leaders are not pleased with local results.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Time for these members of the 1% to march right over to Liberty Plaza and give it away.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Readers: In the list at the bottom of the article I've included a line on whether an executive's salary is coming from the general fund. The general fund is comprised primarily of tuition and fees paid by students and of state appropriations, which essentially equate to taxpayer money. This fiscal year the general fund budget is $1.65 billion— an all time high. You can read more about state appropriation and tuition rates here:


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

Kellie - So if the UMHS is bleeding right now, how can they justify paying Ora the salary they do? A salary should be based on the "value" you bring. If you lose money, there should be no salary increase. If you make money, then you should be rewarded accordingly. Yes or No?

Michael Bow

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

You people are crazy!!!! You have the only state run prestigious school in the country and now you're whining about what makes it competitive. Don't like a sports director who gives you top 20 teams in nearly every sport, fire him and hire someone at 40K/year, so what type of seasons you get! Then when the alumni stop donating and people stop paying high prices at games, ask yourself where your mighty UofM went. Think people!

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Angry Moderate, once they write a check to the University it becomes our money. When I go to Kroger and write check for food the money belongs to Kroger, not me. What belongs to me is the food I bought. Same with a student. That student bought a bachelors degree. The degree becomes theirs, the money they paid belongs to the Institution that sold them the degree. In this case that Institution is owned by the taxpayers of Michigan.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

Craig, the students paying or borrowing $50,000 for a Bachelor's degree might disagree that it's all taxpayer money.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

@kmgeb2000 It depends on where the employee works. For example, Dave Brandon's salary comes from the athletic department, which is self-sufficient and generates its own revenue. Ora Pescovitz's salary, on the other hand, comes from UMHS revenue.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

I would argue all the money regardless of origin is taxpayer money since taxpayers collectively own the place. Even the self sustaining currently turning a profit athletic department is owned by the people of the state of Michigan as a collective.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

So if it is not GF, then where do these salaries come from? Looks to be at least several million dollars from the category - "Salary does not come from general fund". You explained the GF source and distribution but not much on the non-GF funds. Cheers!

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

So big bonuses, even with the child porn cover-up. I thought executives were supposed to be accountable?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I thought UM was cutting down all unnecessary expenses...


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Only the people at the bottom get the cut, or no increase at all


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

And the U of M is non-profit! LOL


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

Blue - I am sorry, but I have to categorically disagree with you. In the case of Dave Brandon, he brought zero experience to the job. His background is in pizza, not running an athletic department. Please help me understand how he qualifies for a salary higher than anyone else's at the University including the President when he has no experience running a major athletic department. You will be up all night thinking about this so drink plenty of warm milk to help you sleep. It is a joke that an AD makes more than a University President. But go ahead and convince me otherwise!


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

No: UM is a "not for profit". Many firms are non-profit, without having intend to be so. So there is a distinction. Besides, most UM employees, even those who are very nicely compensated, are generally making a fraction of their private sector salary.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Where are all the staunch U of M defenders? Cat got your collective tongues?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Dave Brandon highest base salary? Wow. I know all of the folks that have been priced out of their seats at sports events this year and next will feel so much better now.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Yet, Ora sends us U/M peons a memo asking us to cut back... . RIIIIIGHT!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

*pours fresh cup of coffee, puts feet on desk, waits....* this is gonna get good.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

I keep tellin' ya, I made the popcorn the last two times! This time YOU were supposed to make it!