The top ten earners at the University receive over $7 million, per a 2022-2023 Freedom of Information Act obtained by The Cavalier Daily. This figure represents roughly .5 percent of the $1.6 billion paid to all 20,061 faculty and staff listed — the data set includes salaries for all faculty and staff of all individuals employed by the University of Virginia, including employees in the U.Va. Health system. It does not include student workers.
The top earner at the University for the 2022-23 academic year was Craig Kent, executive vice president of health affairs and chief executive officer of U.Va. Health, earning a salary of just over $1 million — $1,097,300.00, a $50,000 raise from the previous year.
The second top earner was University President Jim Ryan, who earned $851,681.00. Ryan earns more annually than Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands, who earned a base pay of $614,640.00 in 2021 — 72 percent of Ryan’s income, despite Virginia Tech being notably larger than the University.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz earned a salary of $657,743 in 2022 — 22 percent less than Ryan, despite the similar sizes of the University and UNC-CH.
As faculty weigh their employment options, competitive rates inevitably play a role in decisions. During the fall semester, Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis delivered a presentation about a so-called “war on talent” during a Board of Visitors meeting. According to Davis, the historical vacancy rates in the academic division hovered around seven or eight percent — this year, the vacancy rates are nearly double those figures. Last July, the University raised faculty salaries 5 percent to help address this issue.
“We are seeing a war on talent,” Davis said during the presentation. “I cannot underscore [enough], one of the most important things for us in the next one to three years coming out of this pandemic is to invest in the talent, otherwise we will lose them.”
Notably, Liz Magill, former executive vice president and provost, left the University in the Spring. She was making $675,000 at the University, and now earns an undisclosed amount as President of the private University of Pennsylvania — whose former president earned over 3 million per year.
The office of Student Affairs has also seen a recent increase in vacant positions, with several employees holding two titles. Based on titles listed on the Student Affairs website the average salary for an employee of Student Affairs is $86,708.98.
Robin Hadley, vice president and chief student affairs officer and dean of students, earns $360,000.00. Hadley entered the dean of students role last June, one of the first people in recent memory to hold both positions. Several other Student Affairs Officers hold two positions — including Gay Perez, assistant vice president for Student Affair and executive director of Housing and Residence Life who earns $200,000.00 and Catherine Brighton, senior associate dean for academic programs and Student Affairs and Education professor, who earns $171,000.00.
The University professors with the highest salaries both also serve or have served in administrative roles in addition to professorships. Scott Beardsley, professor of business administration and dean in the Darden School, earned $661,100.00. Teresa Sullivan, the University’s first female president who served from 2010 to 2018, and current professor of sociology earned $620,500.00 — the second highest salary of any professor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median business professor salary is $94,360.00 and the median sociology professor salary is $77,980.00 as of 2021.
Most of the University’s top earners follow a similar trend of holding administrative roles, such as Douglas E. Lischke. Lischke serves as chief financial officer for U.Va. Health and makes $515,000.00 annually while Michael Marquardt, chief financial officer for the University Medical Center, makes $299,781.71. There is a $215,218.29 difference between their salaries.
Basketball Coach Tony Bennett is the top paid athletic coach at the University with a base salary of $638,142.00 — with additional compensation from donors along with bonuses, his salary totals at $4.8 million for 2023. Bennett is the second longest tenured coach in the ACC, having coached the basketball team for 14 seasons, and he has the most wins in the University’s program history.
The men’s basketball coach at the University of Miami, Jim Larrañaga, has coached his ACC team for two years less than Bennett. He earned a total salary of $2.6 million in 2023.
Head Football Coach Tony Elliott earned a base pay of $500,000 in 2023 — according to his contract he will earn a total of $4.25 million after bonuses and compensation. For comparison, Brent Pry, the head coach of the Virginia Tech football team, earned $4 million in 2022 excluding bonuses. Elliott joined the University football coaching team in December 2021.
The female coach with the highest salary was head coach of the women’s basketball team Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, who earned $200,000.00 this year at the University. Agugua-Hamilton was announced as the head coach in March 2022. Like Elliott, she likely receives additional compensation from outside sources, though specific information was not available. The women’s basketball team had a record of 15-15, while the men’s team went 25-8. For comparison, Virginia Tech’s female coach earns $625,000 directly from the institution, with a 31-4 team.
The University currently funds faculty salaries by generating revenue through three different methods. The largest category is institutional funds, which includes the endowment. The second largest category is tuition — both graduate and undergraduate — and finally state appropriations from the Commonwealth.
Editor’s Note: The full, searchable 2022-23 data set will be published on The Cavalier Daily’s website before the end of April. Find updates on our website and social media pages.