Hogan Declines Trustees' Offer Of Performance Bonus Worth About $100,000

The Hartford Courant

Would you give up a $100,000 job performance bonus?

UConn President Michael Hogan did.

The university's trustees were so pleased with Hogan's first-year performance that they wanted to give him a bonus in the range of $100,000 for a job well done and to bring his salary in line with other college presidents, said John W. Rowe, board of trustees chairman.

But Hogan said he decided to decline at a time when the state is facing a deepening deficit and the university is struggling to meet a 3 percent budget cut.

"I am happy to waive the bonus," Hogan told the trustees at a meeting Tuesday. "The university, indeed the whole state, is in fiscal turmoil, and I don't know when we'll see the end of it."

Rowe praised Hogan's first-year performance and said the gesture was generous.

"Mike Hogan has done an outstanding job," Rowe said. "He's a great asset to the university and the state of Connecticut. We are very fortunate to have him. And this is a generous act on his part."

Hogan asked the trustees to consider putting the bonus money toward the university's graduate programs.

"We've got some very good graduate programs, and they are going to be struggling now with the [3 percent] budget [cut]," Hogan explained afterward. "So I'd like the money put into our best graduate programs to at least provide a teeny buffer against the fiscal storms that we are going through and going to go through."

Hogan's salary is $550,000, including $135,000 contributed by the UConn Foundation, the university's fundraising arm. Under his contract, he is eligible for retention incentives over his first five years, starting with $30,000 for the first year and ending with $60,000 for completing his fifth year. He was paid the retention bonus this year.

In addition to his salary, Hogan's contract provides him with a house, a household staff, moving expenses, a state vehicle for university business and two leased cars for use by him and his wife.

Rowe said the performance bonus was intended to put Hogan on par with presidents at similar public research universities. The median salary of those presidents is roughly $660,000 to $680,000, Hogan said.

Hogan donates $1,000 a month from his salary toward an endowed scholarship at UConn named in honor of his parents. He said he set up a similar scholarship at the University of Iowa, where he worked previously.

Hogan isn't the first UConn president to turn down money during hard times. His predecessor, Philip E. Austin, gave up his raise for four years during an economic slump several years ago.

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