UMass President Meehan will remain in office through 2023

New agreement includes increase in compensation


(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

By Kathrine Esten, Assistant News Editor

University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan has signed a new contract with the University’s board of trustees that will extend his position through June 2023.

While the new contract is a five-year agreement, the contract signed by Meehan when he first became president in 2015 already included fiscal years 2019 and 2020. As a result, the contract added a net total of three years.

The contract was signed amidst criticism of Meehan by opponents of the recent UMass acquisition of Mount Ida College and a vote of no confidence in Meehan by the faculty of the Boston campus regarding the acquisition.

Included in the contract is an increase in Meehan’s base salary by two percent each year starting in the 2019 fiscal year. Over the three-year period, Meehan’s yearly salary is projected to rise from $890,600 in FY19 to potentially $964,512 in FY23, according to a report by MassLive.

Additionally, the president’s potential compensation will rise by 1.73 percent each year if certain incentives are met.

UMass Vice President of Communications Jeff Cournoyer defended the contract in an email by noting the salary increases will keep the president’s compensation within the 75th percentile of a comparison group of 37 peer institutions. Cournoyer also said the increases are consistent with projected salary increases for all UMass employees based on “collective bargaining parameters.”

The contract will continue to provide previous perks to the president, including the maximum annual contribution to Meehan’s retirement accounts allowed under federal law, a housing allowance of $5,800 per month, a “recent model automobile” and a driver, according to the Lowell Sun.

Meehan is allowed to resign his position if he notifies the board of trustees in writing six months in advance of his proposed departure but he will be required to pay the University $75,000 if he resigns in FY19 or $50,000 if he resigns in FY20.

The contract negotiations followed an extensive review of Meehan by the board of trustees during the 2018 to 2019 academic year, according to Cournoyer.

While Meehan will remain president, he faces continued tension among the University campuses. In addition to the controversies of the Mount Ida acquisition, the adjunct faculty at UMass Lowell initiated an ad campaign targeting Meehan with claims of underpayment and mistreatment, as reported by the Lowell Sun. Meehan was chancellor of the Lowell campus for eight years prior to his presidential appointment.

Kathrine Esten can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter at @kathrineesten.