Smatresk’s salary $15,000 more than former president

Smatresk’s salary $15,000 more than former president

Smatresk’s salary $15,000 more than former president
February 17
15:41 2014

 Joshua Knopp // Senior Staff Writer

New UNT president Neal Smatresk stands to earn $505,000 annually, which is $15,000 more than the previous president collected.

Former president V. Lane Rawlins’s contract afforded him a base salary of $410,000, but an annual retention bonus and monthly housing allowance brought that up to just shy of $490,000 after Rawlins got a house in the area last year, UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson said. Smatresk’s contract will give him a base salary of $505,000.

Jackson said they tried to negotiate a fair contract based on what university presidents in Texas make and what they expected of Smatresk, and Jackson thinks they’ve come to a mutually beneficial number.

He said because the university’s total budget is so large and has so many variations from year to year, it was actually easy to find $15,000 extra for the new president without increasing tuition.

According to Texas Tribune’s numbers for university president salaries, Smatresk will slide into the seventh spot behind the University of Texas at Dallas’ David E. Daniel. His salary is less than half of the highest-earning president, Ronald DePinho, who makes $1.4 million for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, but moe than the median salary of $278,100.

Including bonuses, Smatresk was earning $447,000 in his previous position at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Rachel Grimes, student services specialist for the Student Money Management Center, confirmed that her department and others that receive student fees have annual budget hearings in which they have to justify what they spend.

Smatresk said because of differences between Texas’ and Nevada’s tax and retirement systems, his raise coming to UNT was actually somewhere between $10,000 to $20,000.

“I didn’t come here for the money. I came here for the opportunity,” he said.

Feature photo: UNT President Neal Smatresk. Photo by James Coreas / Staff Photographer 

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