University of Pittsburgh
December 14, 2003

Pitt Board of Trustees Sets Officers' Compensation

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The compensation committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees met today and approved fiscal year 2003-04 salaries for Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and six other officers of the University.

In speaking for the Board, Chair Ralph J. Cappy praised the efforts of Chancellor Nordenberg and his team in leading the University through an eight-year period of unprecedented progress and for their success in sustaining institutional momentum: "With each passing year, the importance of the University to the overall health of Western Pennsylvania becomes more and more apparent. Pitt is the region's major provider of high-quality higher education, an internationally recognized center of pioneering research, one of the area's largest employers, and a leading institutional citizen. Pitt's strength is important to everyone who cares about the future of our region."

According to Cappy, "Many people should share in the credit for Pitt's remarkable progress. They include, in particular, members of the faculty and staff. However, this also is a case in which effective leadership has helped transform an institution. In fact, the senior management team assembled and led by Chancellor Nordenberg has played a major role in one of the great turnaround stories in American higher education. One of our Board's principal responsibilities is to retain and properly reward this outstanding group."

Among the areas of progress cited by the committee were dramatic increases in undergraduate applications and student academic strength, impressive growth in the University's research portfolio, a return of the institution to financial health, an aggressive program of new construction and campus renovation, record-setting successes in private fundraising, leadership in community development, and a rebirth of Pitt athletics both in competitive strength and in audience attraction. The committee also noted that Pitt's continuing momentum was all the more striking given the challenging economy, which recently has led some of the country's best-known universities to announce layoffs, salary freezes, program cutbacks, course cancellations, and other steps that could disadvantage students and compromise institutional quality.

The salaries approved by the committee are: Mark A. Nordenberg, chancellor, $401,500 (a 3 percent increase); Jerome Cochran, executive vice chancellor, $278,000 (a 3 percent increase); B. Jean Ferketish, secretary to the Board of Trustees and assistant chancellor, $155,500 (a 3.7 percent increase); Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences, $607,500 (a 3 percent increase); James V. Maher, provost, $296,000 (a 3 percent increase); Amy K. Marsh, treasurer, $180,000 (a 5.9 percent increase); and Arthur G. Ramicone, vice chancellor for budget and controller, $206,000 (a 3 percent increase).

In commenting on the committee's action, Chancellor Nordenberg stated, " I am grateful for the board's strong expression of continuing confidence and support. Working together, we have accomplished a great deal over the course of the last eight years, and I fully expect 2003-04 to be another year of outstanding progress for the University of Pittsburgh."

Because of more general delays in the budget-approval process, salary decisions throughout the University were delayed this year. The operating budget approved by the Board of Trustees at its October meeting included a 3 percent salary increase pool.

Highlights of Recent Progress at the University of Pittsburgh

• Student Applications: Freshman applications grew by more than 120 percent from 1995 to 2003, and the academic credentials of enrolled students increased dramatically. For example, the percentage of enrolled freshmen who ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes grew from 21 percent in 1995 to 43 percent in 2003, and the percentage of enrolled freshmen who ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating classes grew from 43 percent in 1995 to 75 percent in 2003.

• Faculty Research: In 1995, Pitt attracted into the region some $230 million in sponsored project support. In 2003, the University shattered the half-billion dollar mark, attracting more than $510 million in research support, an increase of more than 120 percent. University faculty continue to distinguish themselves in a broad range of disciplines, and Pitt has enjoyed great success in recruiting distinguished, senior-level faculty members from other fine universities.

• Institutional Finance: In 1995, the University's budget was built around an institution-wide salary freeze, and Pitt was largely in a no-growth mode. In the last eight years, the University has regained its fiscal strength as evidenced by several successive bond rating increases, expanded its employment base, built faculty and staff salaries back to more competitive levels, moved through the most ambitious period of construction and renovation in its history, and made other significant infrastructure investments.

• Private Fundraising: In 1995, the University attracted just over $39 million in private support and had been advised that it was not well positioned to launch a major capital campaign. In 2003, Pitt attracted $94.5 million in private contributions, an increase of about 140 percent, and moved its capital campaign past the $600 million mark, on schedule to reach its $1 billion goal.

• Community Development: The University occupies a central position in most of the region's major economic development initiatives, such as the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. Pitt's own research expenditures support, directly and indirectly, some 15,000 local jobs.

• Athletics: In 1995-96, Pitt's football team was 2-9, its men's basketball team was 10-17, and both played in front of relatively sparse crowds. In 2003, the football team will make its fourth consecutive bowl appearance, and the men's basketball team won its first-ever Big East tournament championship and reached the "Sweet Sixteen" of the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. These teams played before sellout crowds at Heinz Field and the Petersen Events Center.

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