May 21, 2018

UPDATED: Tax forms reveal president receives highest total percentage pay increase in 5 years

Updated: April 30, 2018

Webster University tax forms for the 2016-2017 fiscal year (FY) revealed both President Elizabeth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster received increases to their base pay and bonuses. Despite financial deficits, this is the highest total percentage increase for Stroble since 2011.   

Forms also revealed faculty salaries, other compensation and employee benefits decreased by $832,496. The Faculty Salary and Fringe Benefit Committee reported a 1.5 percent increase in faculty compensation for the 2016-2017 academic year, contingent on a satisfaction report.

pay rate percentage

“We had no idea that they are looking at those kinds of increases,” O’ Bannon said. “They were still talking to us basically about the idea of shared sacrifice and they were saying there’s not much money on the table.”

Professor Debbie Psihountas added it is difficult to hear the administration say there is no money, but to see their salaries and bonuses increase in such a large margin.

“There’s not much money,” Psihountas said. “And then, we find out a year later when the data comes out publicly. Oh, apparently there was money.”    

Increase in salary  

The document showed Stroble received a 1.4 percent increase to her base salary and a 7.6 percent increase to her total compensation, compared to last year’s 990 tax forms. Stroble’s base salary is reported at $340,362, which increased by $4,666 from the previous year. Stroble’s total compensation is $580,154, which increased by $41,106.  

Tax forms show since Stroble’s arrival in 2009, she has seen raises to her total compensation with the exception of the 2013-2014 FY. In 2009, her total compensation was $201,891. The total compensation includes an individual’s base salary, bonuses, other reportable compensation, retirement and nontaxable benefits.  

From 2009 to 2016, Stroble’s total compensation increased by $378,263.

Schuster received a 1.7 percent increase to his base salary and a 3.1 percent increase to his total compensation. Schuster’s base salary reported in the 990 tax forms is $279,365, an increase of $4,795. His total compensation is reported at $368,026. This number increased by $11,020.

Similar to Stroble, Schuster has seen increases in total compensation since his arrival in 2010, with the exception of the 2015-2016 FY. Between 2010 and 2016, his total compensation increased by $44,035.    

According to the Faculty Salary and Fringe Benefit Committee proposal for the 2016-2017 academic year, faculty salaries were to increase by 1.5 percent. This is contingent on if the faculty member has met the requirements of a satisfaction report.

AAUP performs a yearly report on the economic status of the teaching profession at the university level. The report analyzes averages on salaries, raises in salary and faculty benefits.

The national average for increases in faculty salary is 2.6 percent, according to the AAUP’s 2016-2017 report. This is up from the 2015-2016 academic year. Compared to Webster, faculty salary has been declining since the 2009-2010 academic year.

In 2009-2010, faculty received a 6 percent raise. This number decreased to zero percent by 2015-2016, but increased to 1.5 percent in 2016-2017, according to the Salary and Fringe Benefit proposal.

Psihountas said the Faculty Salary and Fringe Benefit Committee initially proposed a 4 percent increase. She said they wanted to be more aggressive since the previous year they received a zero percent increase. Psihountas said they walked out of negotiations with 1.5 percent.   

Psihountas called the situation “mind-numbing.”  

“It’s a year later when we find out that while they were sitting there arguing with us over zero and one percent, they were getting so much more than that,” Psihountas said. “It’s like, really? Because he kept insisting we couldn’t, [raise faculty salaries], the board will never approve this because it’s not fiscally prudent really. Well, why are they approving [administration raises]? That’s not fiscally prudent either.”

In a letter sent to Webster’s Board of Trustees, the faculty state they are willing to work with the administration to fix the growing financial problem.

One proposal was from the Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee, which proposed the faculty would not seek any salary increases for this next year.

“As a condition for us accepting yet another year of declining net take-home pay, we said that ALL Webster employees, including top administrators, must not receive raises, bonuses, or any other type of increased compensation either,” the letter read. “The sacrifice being made by faculty should be shared by all employees.”

The committee said this proposal shows the faculty’s willingness to share in the sacrifices needed to address the university’s financial problems.

Increase in bonses

Stroble received a $70,000 bonus, which increased from $65,000 reported in the 2015-2016 tax forms. Schuster received a $42,000 bonus, an increase from $35,000 from the previous year.

The Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) head coach Susan Polgar received a $37,500 bonus, which was equal to her bonus from the previous year. Polgar is the third highest paid individual at Webster University.

Bonuses, or at-risk compensation, for Stroble, Schuster and Polgar are determined based on their contracts, according to the 990 tax forms. Stroble and Schuster’s bonuses are approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Polgar’s at-risk compensation is determined based on criteria set in her contract.  

This information is reported from the 990 tax forms, which looks at figures from the 2016-2017 FY. The 2016-2017 FY runs from June 6, 2016 to May 31, 2017. All non-profit organizations like Webster University are required to submit 990 tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year.

 

Initial post: April 26, 2018 

Webster University tax forms for the 2016-2017 fiscal year (FY) revealed both President Elizabeth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster received increases to their base pay and bonuses.  

Highest Paid EmployeesThe document showed Stroble received a 1.4 percent increase to her base salary and a 7.6 percent increase to her total pay, compared to last year’s 990 tax forms. Stroble’s base salary is reported at $340,362, which increased by $4,666 from the previous year. Stroble’s total compensation is $580,154, which increased by $41,106.  

Schuster received a 1.7 percent increase to his base salary and a 3.1 percent increase to his total pay. Schuster’s base salary reported in the 990 tax forms is $279,365, an increase of $4,795. His total compensation is reported at $368,026. This number increased by $11,020.    

The total pay includes an individual’s base salary, bonuses, other reportable compensation, retirement and nontaxable benefits.

According to the Faculty Salary and Fringe Benefit Committee proposal for the 2016-2017 academic year, faculty salaries were to increase by 1.5 percent. This is contingent on if the faculty member has met the requirements of a satisfaction report. This was approved by the faculty assembly on April 26, 2016 and signed by Schuster, former Faculty Senate President Gwyneth Williams and the former Chair of the Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee Mike Hulsizer.  

Tax forms reported salaries, other compensation and employee benefits decreased by $832,496.Webster's Finanaces at a Glance

Bonuses

Stroble received a $70,000 bonus, which increased from $65,000 reported in the 2015-2016 tax forms. Schuster received a $42,000 bonus, an increase from $35,000 from the previous year.

In total, Stroble and Schuster received a combined $112,000 in bonuses.

The Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) head coach Susan Polgar received a $37,500 bonus, which was equal to her bonus from the previous year.

Bonuses, or at-risk compensation, for Stroble, Schuster and Polgar are determined based on their contracts, according to the 990 tax forms. Stroble and Schuster’s bonuses are approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Polgar’s at-risk compensation is determined based on criteria set in her contract.  

This information is reported from the 990 tax forms, which looks at figures from the 2016-2017 FY. The 2016-2017 FY runs from June 6, 2016 to May 31, 2017. All non-profit organizations like Webster University are required to submit 990 tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year.
The Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.  

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