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Survey of Oregon university president pay in dispute

Survey of Oregon university president pay in dispute
Ed Ray, president of Oregon State University

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Higher education officials are disputing a national survey that said Oregon State University President Ed Ray's compensation put him at No. 20 among American public university presidents.

The Chronicle of Higher Education's survey results were released Sunday and said Ray's 2011-2012 pay topped $700,000.

But the state university system's general counsel, Ryan Hagemann told The Oregonian newspaper that was wrong: Ray made $590,000.

The rankings mistakenly counted a supplemental retirement payment twice, Hagemann said. The publication made the same mistake with all of Oregon's public university presidents, overstating compensation by $115,000 to $300,000, he said.

In 2011-12, Ray was paid a salary of $426,000, part from taxpayers, part from the OSU Foundation. Taxpayers also paid $38,000 into a state retirement system, and the foundation paid $126,000 into a supplemental retirement account.

At $590,000, Ray would be about 52nd in the compensation rankings, the Oregonian said.

Sara Hebel, a senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, said the paper would correct the presidents' reported pay and rankings if it confirmed there were errors. She said universities were given a one-day chance last week to verify the figures, and Oregon universities did not request changes.

Usually, the president of the University of Oregon is the highest paid among the state's public university presidents.

But President Richard Lariviere was ousted in November 2011, and Robert Berdahl was installed as interim president the next month. Neither was paid as much for his partial year of work as Ray made for a full year.

Together, they were paid nearly $860,000 in 2011-12. The biggest single chunk of that was Lariviere's $243,000 severance payment.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press