Acting University of Wisconsin system president Michael Falbo bypassed an open search process when hiring a top administrator and offered a much more generous contract than the previous person in the job. .
Earlier this spring, Falbo named UW-Milwaukee provost Johannes Britz acting UW system senior vice president for academic and student affairs, one of four cabinet-level positions that report directly to the president. of the UW system.
Britz started on Wednesday and succeeds Anny Morrobel-Sosa, who retired on Tuesday with a salary of $270,504. Britz will earn $333,835 a year in his new position, the same salary he earned at UWM.
“The UW System has approached me about this position in an effort to stabilize this key role as it transitions,” Britz said in a statement. “I was willing to help and assist for up to three years, as long as I received what I was paid at UW-Milwaukee, where I am currently in a very personally fulfilling role. The offer was then made by UW System to accommodate such a transfer.”
Britz’s UWM salary exceeds the pay range allowed for vice presidents in the UW system. The UW system has elevated his title to “senior vice president”, moving Britz to a higher salary range that allows him to continue earning his current salary.
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Britz will also receive an additional $15,000 each year from appointment for what is described in the letter of offer as “additional compensation given to cover costs associated with a new workplace”.
The new workplace is in Madison, where the administration of the UW system is located. But the letter also describes Britz’s work schedule as a “hybrid” arrangement of remote and telecommuting to be determined by Britz and new UW system chairman Jay Rothman, which also began on Wednesday.
Britz hasn’t determined his personal life situation, but he’s expected to spend a lot of time in Madison, UW System spokesman Mark Pitsch said. The supplement is intended to cover expenses such as travel, relocation, or temporary accommodations in the Madison area.
Bypassing an open search is permitted for interim executive appointments as long as they last no longer than three years, according to UW Board of Regents policy.
UW system documents show that staff last year asked search firms for estimates on conducting a national search to fill the Morrobel-Sosa position.
But Falbo justified waiving the search process because “the candidate we have in mind would meet all the criteria,” noting Britz’s extensive administrative experience, academic credentials and in-depth knowledge of UW system policies.
Pitsch said Britz is a top provost in the UW system and worked at a research university.
“Although a search was considered, it was weighed against these considerations,” he said.
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