Upper Administration at UNM
Numerous questions have been raised about the number and cost of upper level administration at the University. I want to present some information that will demonstrate that we have taken these concerns seriously, while maintaining the level of executive competence necessary to operate an enterprise of this size.
In 2008, UNM had a total of 16 Vice Presidents – 10.5 on Main Campus and 5.5 at the Health Sciences Center. The total salary was $4.3 million. By 2011, the number of Vice President and equivalent positions has been reduced to 12, 7 on Main Campus and 5 at the Health Sciences Center. The total salary is now $3.4 million.
In the three-year period, UNM reduced annual salary expenses by $900,000 dollars, representing a cut of 21 percent. These cuts were achieved by attrition savings. The total annual payroll at UNM is in excess of $835 million. The VP expenses account for less than ½ of one percent of total payroll.
A comparison of UNM to peer group institutions is pertinent. In the 2010 IPEDs report, UNM reported a substantially lower Executive- Senior Administrator percentage than its peers. The median peer group total reported was 290 individuals, while UNM has 140 individuals in this category. These positions include academic administrators such as Deans and Provosts as well as business administrators such as Associate Vice President and Directors.
It’s important to note that while serving on annual employment contracts, the individuals in these positions have the highest levels of administrative responsibility at the University. The scope of these positions include the academic and administrative enterprises; managing the legislative and extra-legislative funding of the core mission; financing, construction, and maintenance of University facilities; stewardship of the University’s flagship research responsibilities; administration of a comprehensive employee benefits package including a self-funded insurance plan; hospital administration and the delivery of state-wide health care; implementation and actualization of the University’s equity and inclusion initiatives; and financial and physical support for our student population.
With regard to Vice President and equivalent positions, UNM compensation is, with the exception of one, below comparable positions at other surveyed institutions. UNM upper-level administrative positions are recruited at a national level and the comparable market is other higher-education institutions with similar missions: teaching, research, patient care, and community service.
For the last three years, we have cut administrative expenses in all areas of the University. In the Office of the President alone, the University reduced the number of staff by three, from 10.5 to 7.5. This represents an 18 percent savings of $218,000.