New UI president's executive assistant will earn $195,000

CHICAGO – President Michael Hogan's new executive assistant will earn $195,000. A former assistant provost, she could also serve as a sociology professor here.

Lisa Troyer of the University of Connecticut will start July 26, though she has been serving on an interim basis since July 2.

She was not available for comment Tuesday.

A predecessor, Kathleen Metz, earned $107,500 in 2009-10 as executive assistant to B. Joseph White.

The UI's chief spokesman, Tom Hardy, said comparing the salaries was a matter of "apple and oranges" since Metz, who has retired, was a civil service employee, and Troyer has been a professor and administrator.

Between Metz and Troyer, associate chancellor Margaret O'Donoghue served as interim President Stanley Ikenberry's executive assistant, earning $165,600, Hardy noted.

Troyer's appointment, which may come up for a vote by the Board of Trustees on Thursday in Chicago, is on a 12-month, full-time basis.

"She will also be considered for the rank of professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Urbana campus, on indefinite tenure," the trustee's agenda item says.

Troyer has been a professor of sociology at Connecticut and senior associate to Hogan, as well as his chief of staff, since 2007.

She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and her master's and doctorate from Stanford University.

Like Hogan, Troyer served as a professor at the University of Iowa, in her case for 12 years. She served as interim associate provost at the University of Iowa while Hogan was provost.

Other appointments to be considered by the trustees Thursday include amending the multiyear contract with women's basketball varsity coach Jolette Law.

Chancellor Robert Easter recommends extending Law's contract by two years, through April 30, 2014.

Her annual contract is a $160,000 base salary; $75,000 for radio and TV appearances; and another $75,000 for services promoting the program and the university.

No state funds are used for her salary, or for the other appointment, assistant men's basketball coach Jerrance Howard.

Howard's base pay will be $180,000 through April 30, 2011. It goes to $190,000 in 2011-12, $200,000 in 2012-13 and $210,000 in 2013-14.

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UIUCHoopFan wrote on July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am

Excuse me! I'm certain there are numerous qualified candidates already on the UIUC campus or in the CU area to serve as a six figure executive assistant to Hogan. Why not put one of OUR people to work instead of schlepping a coattail rider from Connecticut to occupy apparently TWO jobs? Either she's the executive assistant to Hogan or a professor in the Sociology Department. If either job has so little to do that two are required then the $195,000. salary is ridiculous. What a joke.....yet I don't hear anyone laughing.

UISocPsychGrad wrote on July 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Having worked with Dr. Troyer, I can tell you that she is one of the most competent professionals in academia today. She has no need to be a "coattail rider." In fact, you're lucky that such a good collaborative team is staying intact for Dr. Hogan's move to the U of I. Her work with Dr. Hogan at the University of Iowa was excellent, and I for one would jump at the chance to have her back here. If you knew Dr. Troyer, you could put her in three full-time jobs (and yes, her chief of staff position and sociology professorship are FULL TIME jobs) and she would still do a wonderful job. $195,000 is a bargain for who you are getting, pure and simple. Learn something about the work done by these academics and administrators and you'd probably appreciate just what it takes to make these offices function. But I'll wager a bet: while you probably have some very competent people at the U of I, Lisa Troyer could run rings around them. She'll make Illinois proud. Give her the chance.

UIUCHoopFan wrote on July 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Since Hogan wanted her here so badly and no other candidates were considered for the position I suggest her executive assistant salary come out of his. Poor LAS! Why are they the perpetual dumping ground for package deal hires at UIUC? The day an individual bearing any one of a myriad of lofty titles on this campus does anything for the lower level functionaries will be a chilly day on the equator indeed!

UISocPsychGrad wrote on July 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm

It is apparent you have a beef with the University and state itself and not with these people. That I can understand living and working in a bureaucracy. However, again I suggest you give this team a chance. Net of other circumstances inherent in large organizations, I'm sure this team's contributions and their relationships with "functionaries" (I'd call them support staff ) will be top notch. Quite frankly, your college of liberal arts and sciences will be raised a notch in reputation by Lisa Troyer's professorship, and if you look at her research, educational, and administrative record you might agree. There are certainly reasons to dislike the way state institutions allocate money (God knows I'm with you on that!), but in this case I think they may have stumbled backwards into something good. In any case, until political pressures create overhauls in state school procedures, I don't understand the justification for thinking poorly and expecting the worst of the people being brought in just because of how they will be paid.

UIUCHoopFan wrote on July 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

What choice do we have? The blessing has been given along with the golden parachutes. My beef is with the waste of money and the abuse of power and influence. This institution, my alma mater, has become a punchline. And sadly yes....."support staff" have been referred to as "lower level functionaries" per my late friend and retiree from the upper ranks at UIUC, Dr. Paul Riegel.

Fuzzybeard2016 wrote on July 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm
Profile Picture

OK, is this actually Dr. Troyer?

readone wrote on July 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm

My real concern here is, what does this mean for pay increases for the rest of the Universities employees? It seems there is plenty of money when it comes to the big-wigs but the average working person is getting stiffed again. If there is such a budget crisis, how can the university justify these types of arrangements?
Let's see Joe White- disgraced, forced to resign- hired as professor for 250k
Richard Herman- disgraced, forced to resign- hired as professor for 250k
Michael Hogan- hired as president 620k
Stanley Ikenberry- kept on to help transition 200k
Lisa Troyer - President assisstant- 195k
That is over ONE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS!!!! And there is no money to give even a 1% raise to the staff that actually keeps the University running.

Janet wrote on July 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

Socpsych grad, I've read your comments a couple of times now and I can't quite figure where you're coming from--not because I'm one of the idiot masses, but because you seem so sure that one single person--part of a package deal--will elevate us all. One single person can run rings around all the good people you imagine are here? It's such an odd statement to make. What a bunch of brainless chumps you think we all are.

bluegrass wrote on July 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm

If this position is so important that it demands the salary of $16 grand a month plus benefits, how could that person possibly be expected to have time to teach? Shouldn't someone making that much money be reasonably expected to dedicate their full attention to that specific job?

The article says that she "could also serve" as a professor. Does the $195k a year include the teaching salary, or would there be a bump if it is determined she will be teaching?

Plus, isn't there a conflict of interest when a person works directly for the top administrator in an institution, and then also teaches in a department he oversees?

Seems odd.

sahuoy wrote on July 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

The truth is any time a higher salaried employee is brought in they're job is to change the status quo by cutting out unnecessary positions and expanding others. These people are the butchers that blaze a trail into the future which is priortised by the politics at hand. That is why she is paid a rediculous amoiunt of money. Same as CEO's get bonuses to make profits by rearranging production in a manner that increases proficiency at lower cost. However, accessing state funding to pay for some things is not a valid arguement when it is a percentage of all funding used to develop the UofI and should be withdrawn. Tax dollars, (All for one), are spent on items not accessible to all who provide those dollars. Misrepresentation by tagging funding with specific names, ie. Olympian Drive funding, doesn't serve the majority but rather a minority. Any person can fill the position of executive assistant but the political gavel appears to be on endorsing women rights for now or is that mexican rights, wait, wasn't that indian rights, no its pakistani rights, after they finish with vietnamese rights. After all the priority is minority melting pot of the world. Americans take a number, your turn has passed, maybe the next generation will be your chance.