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University of Maryland system chief Caret earned nearly $800,000 in fiscal year 2017

The head of the University System of Maryland received nearly $800,000 in compensation for fiscal year 2017, according to a report released by The Chronicle of Higher Education on Sunday.

University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret was the highest-paid head of a public university in the state, receiving a controversial, one-time $75,000 bonus and other perks that brought his total compensation to $785,696.

He is the 26th highest-paid nationwide, according to The Chronicle's data, which included the 251 highest paid chief executives from a survey of all public doctoral universities and all state college and university systems with at least three campuses and 50,000 students.

Other highly-paid school officials included Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland, College Park and Freeman A. Hrabowski III, who heads the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Loh received $611,150 in fiscal year 2017, including base salary and other compensation, and Hrabowski received $507,101.

New to the list was David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, who received $432,754.

Of the four Maryland school leaders, Caret, who has headed the 12-campus university system since 2015, was the only one to receive a bonus. University System of Maryland presidents have never been eligible for bonuses.

The chancellor’s bonus had been awarded by the University system’s governing body in a closed meeting and was the subject of controversy in 2016. Critics charged Caret was being paid too much while tuition was increasing.

Caret said he deserved the money. "Do I feel after 21 years as a campus or system head that I deserve that? Yes," he said in an a 2016 interview. "Do I think I deliver wherever I've been? Yes. So I don't apologize for it."

The state’s Board of Regents later eliminated the $75,000 bonus. Instead, Caret was scheduled to receive a deferred compensation package of $150,000 that will be available to him in 2019 assuming he stays in the job.

According to spokesman Mike Lurie, the bonus had already been approved for the year when the change was made. As a result, Caret received not only the $75,000 bonus but also $150,000 toward his deferred compensation package. He will not receive the bonus for fiscal year 2018 or at anytime in the future, Lurie says.

In addition to his $630,000 base salary and annual raises, Caret receives a car with a driver and housing at the Hidden Waters mansion in Pikesville.

The Chronicle's analysis did not include private college data. However, in data released last year, The Chronicle reported that Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels was the 30th-highest-paid private university president in the United States in 2015, receiving $1.3 million.

NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a corrected amount for David Wilson, president of Morgan State University.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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