University of Pittsburgh
December 3, 2014

Pitt Trustees Approve Officer Salary Recommendations

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—At its meeting today, the Compensation Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees reviewed and approved fiscal year 2014-15 salary recommendations for seven University officers made by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Compensation decisions for most University employees are made in late summer, after the Commonwealth appropriation has been finalized and the University’s fiscal-year operating budget has been approved. However, the Compensation Committee customarily has deferred its decision making for officer salaries until later in the year so that more complete measures of institutional progress can be considered.

In commenting on the past year, Board of Trustees Chair Stephen R. Tritch, who also chairs the Compensation Committee, stated, “The past fiscal year was another period of exceptional progress at the University of Pittsburgh.”  

A number of examples of that progress were cited by the Compensation Committee, including:

  • Pitt had another exceptional year in admissions. Applications to the undergraduate programs of the Pittsburgh campus, the University’s largest programs, reached 30,629, an 11 percent increase over the 27,634 applications received for the fall of 2013.  
  • Once enrolled, students continued to perform at the highest levels, including successes in national and international competition. During the past year, Pitt students claimed two Goldwater Scholarships, two Boren Awards for International Study, a Beinecke Scholarship, a Churchill Scholarship, and two Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships.  
  • Faculty members continued to earn the highest forms of recognition in their disciplines, including election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Association of American Physicians and selection for the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for the best research article in Science magazine. Junior faculty members were elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and were awarded of prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships.
  • The overall financial condition of the University remains very strong, despite the strains associated with state and federal funding. The University earned a long-term debt rating of AA+ from Standard and Poor’s in June. This came during a very challenging time and in the face of more generally negative outlooks for higher education issued by all of the major rating agencies. The consolidated endowment fund had a record growth of nearly $500 million and reached a peak market value in excess of $3.4 billion. 
  • In terms of fundraising, the University surpassed $100 million in cash received for the tenth consecutive year and raised more than $100 million in commitments for the eleventh consecutive year.

In commenting on the officer salary increases recommended by the Chancellor, Board Chair Tritch stated, “Many people have made significant contributions to the progress of Pitt. Among them are the officers of the University, and Pitt has benefited greatly from the tireless efforts of this very talented leadership team.”

Tritch added that ensuring that the officers of the University are appropriately compensated is one of the most important aspects of the Board’s oversight responsibilities. “In carrying out this responsibility, we balance a number of factors including the academic culture, the metrics of the marketplace, and the financial circumstances facing the University at any particular time,” he said.

The deferred decision-making practice used by the committee enables the members to receive more accurate contextual information regarding the raises received by other University employees once the salary-increase pool included in the operating budget has been distributed. In the current fiscal year the average faculty salary increase awarded was 4 percent. Tritch noted that the recommendations are clustered around 4 percent, which is identical to the average increase awarded to faculty members. Within that average, 20 percent of the faculty received increases of more than 5 percent.

The new salaries approved by the Compensation Committee and percentage increase they represent over current salaries are: Patricia Beeson, senior vice chancellor and provost, $420,000, 7.0 percent; Jerome Cochran, executive vice chancellor, $532,500, 3.9 percent; B. Jean Ferketish, secretary, Board of Trustees and assistant chancellor, $235,000, 4.4 percent; Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor health sciences and dean, School of Medicine, $847,500, 3.7 percent; Amy Marsh, chief investment officer, $447,500, 5.3 percent; Art Ramicone, chief financial officer, $387,000, 3.9 percent; and Jerome Richey, general counsel, $380,000, 4.1 percent. 

Each of these salary increases, approved by the Compensation Committee today, is retroactive to the July 1, 2014, beginning of the current fiscal year.

The committee also approved an additional 3.4 percent for Art Ramicone effective in January 2015, bringing his salary to $400,000 at that time. This increase reflects the fact that, at the request of Chancellor Gallagher, Ramicone will assume the responsibility, on an interim basis, for the business, auxiliary operations, facilities, public safety, and human resource functions of the University in addition to his current responsibilities, following the retirement of Executive Vice Chancellor Jerome Cochran at the end of 2014.