As Catherine Toolson’s University Wire story Washington State U. faculty react to pay raise reports, the Washington State University Board of Regents approved a large salary increase for President V. Lane Rawlins on May 7. Rawlins currently earns a base wage of $254,065 per year. Beginning June 1, his base salary will be upped to $300,000 per year.

The board wished to keep Rawlins’ salary competitive with the presidents of comparable institutions, said Board of Regents President William Marler. Marler credits Rawlins for building an administrative structure that has held together despite decreasing state support and tremendous fiscal pressure.

“That was important, as he’s one of our best assets,” Marler said. “He’s one of the best presidents in the country. What we are paying him is still a bargain.”

Some WSU faculty members question the timing and amount of the pay raise, but the Board of Regents members were adamant about instituting the salary increase.

“I feel that the raise is justified if you look at what my peers are making, but I am concerned that most staff and faculty have received very little,” Rawlins said. “I have expressed this concern to the regents and the legislature. I am uncomfortable receiving such an increase at a time when most of our employees are not, and I have expressed this feeling several times. On two occasions I turned down raises. This time, the regents were more insistent.”