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Posted on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman gets 2.75 percent raise, donates it to scholarship

By Kellie Woodhouse

The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to raise President Mary Sue Coleman’s salary 2.75 percent.

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Mary Sue Coleman

Coleman donated the $15,678 increase to a global travel scholarship immediately after the vote.

Before the raise, Coleman’s base salary was $570,105. The regents extended her contract to July 2014 last fall and agreed to give her $100,000 per year in deferred compensation, which she will collect upon retirement.

“She has continued to be a leader in higher education,” said Regent S. Martin Taylor. “All of us wish we could do more… but we have to look at the state,” he said, an apparent reference to Michigan's budget woes.

Coleman thanked the board for the increase.

“I am deeply grateful. None of this happens without the tremendous team that I’ve got,” she said. “I’ve never had such a great team. It’s wonderful.”

Coleman's contact also provides her with:

  • a $100,000 retention bonus
  • $24,500 in retirement pay
  • $30,850 in supplemental retirement pay
  • A house and car

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



Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 10:26 p.m.

Gee President Coleman, mind passing some of your salary this way? lol


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

I guess thats from the money they just screwed all the nurses out of!


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1 p.m.

So she is taking the money from students, and passing it on to a charity on their behalf, is that it? How about just refusing it, at a time when most people--if fortunate enough to be working--have made sacrifices in salary and benefits. This group making these sacrifices would include public school teachers, of course. Teachers--not administrators. U of M has such an overloaded hierarchy of Executives, Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Managers, administrators. These are then redundant from school/college to school/college so you have multiple Human Resource departments with all their staff, etc. It would be interesting for to analyze and report on the ratio of executives & members of management to instructors/professors. I think the results would come as a shock to all those tuition payers out there faced with huge tuition & cost increases every year.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

The reason that she doesn't just refuse it is because now it is part of her base pay. Future increases will be calculated based on this new base pay. It will also affect the salary offered to the next president. Thus the true cost is more than just the amount she is contribuiting to a charity. In all likihood she will also decrease whatever other charitible giving she would have done without the pay raise. It is just a PR sham.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

What she doesn't mention is the additional $200,000 plus taxes that she got in her last contract extension for "deferred compensation". Also, the last time she and top executives declined raises, they made up for it the next year with bigger raises. The new police chief got an $18,000 raise and a $30,000 signing bonus even though the last chief was already the highest paid chief in the state. The Provost got a big raise over his predecessor. They created a new administrative position for former State Senator Pam Burns, which is almost certainly well over a 6 figure salary. The exectutive salaries are through the roof and this is just a PR stunt to hide the fact.

average joe

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 11:28 a.m.

Pres. Obama's 'jobs proposal' includes eliminating or curbs the deduction for charitable giving. If this is enacted, would this change MSC's actions? just wonderin'


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

IBM's computer Watson could do the same job, perhaps better. It would not pay that much for the land at the Law Quad, that's for sure. These people are money drunk.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

I attended the Board of Regents meeting where this was presented. While I applaud her donating her salary increase, I find it interesting that she chose to do it in front of a room full of U of M nurses who were there as a form of protest concerning the concessions the University is asking of the nurses. Her statement "None of this happens without the tremendous team I've got" is very true. The team @ U of M includes the RN's. I hope the petition presented that includes the signatures of 3,200 RN's is a reminder of the team. The team that works very hard that results in a $15,678 salary increase while the RN's are essentially asked to take a pay cut (considering concessions more than negate any salary increase).

Susan Montgomery

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

Keep in mind that she is running an organization with &quot;6,200 faculty members and roughly 38,000 employees&quot; as listed on Wikipedia... For comparison note that she does not make the top 30 list of president salaries at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

Finally, a voice of reason.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

She is grossly overpaid while the rest of us are losing our jobs, not finding jobs or taking pay cuts. She knows she doesn't deserve the pay increase so she donates it to charity; but that gives her a tax deduction. Instead she should refuse it.

Jeff Renner

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

Her bottom line is the same whether she refuses it or whether she donates it for a tax deduction - that just comes off her taxable income, same as refusing it would.

Aaron Wolf

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

This is why we need more graduated taxes. In our culture, what matters isn't receiving the most money it is being paid the most as a matter of pride. Nobody but nobody thought that she needed more income for cost of living issues. The ONLY reason this sort of raise is ever even considered is for the honor and esteem it carries. Given the system as it stands, she did the right thing to donate the raise. Ideally, our whole society ought to get past the whole nonsense of equating income with esteem and honor.

Mr. Ed

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

That is really sad. People are unemployed, were in the middle of a depression and the wealth keep getting raises. I do applaud her for donating the money.