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USM chancellor nabs $75K bonus after first year in office

Daniel Leaderman//June 15, 2016

USM chancellor nabs $75K bonus after first year in office

By Daniel Leaderman

//June 15, 2016

Dr. Robert L. Caret chats with guests at an event in December introducing him as the incoming chancellor of the University System of Maryland. USM officials say they agreed to a compensation package with Caret that is roughly equivalent to what he was making as head of the University of Massachusetts system. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)
Dr. Robert L. Caret chats with guests at an event in December 2014 introducing him as the incoming chancellor of the University System of Maryland. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

After his first year in office, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret is getting a performance bonus of $75,000.

Caret, who took office last July, draws a base salary of $600,000 per year but is eligible for annual performance bonuses of up to 15 percent, or 90,000, in addition to other benefits; $75,000 is 12.5 percent of Caret’s salary.

The system’s Board of Regents approved the bonus, which will be paid by the end of this fiscal year, at a closed-door meeting Friday, said Mike Lurie, a spokesman for the university system.

Caret also received a 5 percent merit increase, which will bring his base salary for fiscal 2017 to $630,000, Lurie said.

Additional benefits include a $53,000 annuity, purchased annually by the system; reimbursement of up to $15,000 for the cost of life insurance; a system-owned residence in Pikesville; and use of a car and driver.

Caret, who previously served as president of the University of Massachusetts system and spent eight years as president of Towson University, has made improving the systemwide college completion rate and strengthening its economic development endeavors two of his top priorities.

Last fall, he took a four-day, statewide bus tour so he could meet with business and community leaders and listen to their thoughts on how the university system could partner with them.

In his annual report, which he presented to regents last week, Caret noted that USM’s six-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time freshman were at an all-time high and that the system’s budget for the coming year included money to provide better advising to students and to use data analysis to improve retention.

Caret also wrote that 141 new companies were spun out of USM institutions in 2015.

This year’s General Assembly also saw the passage of a controversial plan to more closely link the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore in order to boost research funding and attract more research dollars.

Caret and other system officials worried that the initial proposal — which would have allowed a single president to lead both campuses — would hurt the Baltimore institution’s ability to be an effective partner with the surrounding west Baltimore community.

But the measure that was ultimately approved by lawmakers should bring “improved academic programs, stronger research activity, increased tech transfer and commercialization, and even more impactful public and community service,” Caret wrote.

Regent Robert Neall – whose term on the board began the same day Caret took office – said the bonus was a reflection of Caret’s excellent performance in his first year and that the chancellor’s compensation package was offered to encourage Caret to leave Massachusetts.

“The system is headed in the right direction,” Neall said, explaining that both the quality and access to education were improving and that the system had secured “very good” operating and capital budgets for the coming year.

“As a regent, I’m very pleased,” Neall said.

Staff writer Adam Bednar contributed to this story.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the 5 percent increase in Caret’s salary was a cost-of-living adjustment rather than a merit increase.



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