On April 21, Vice President of Finance Julie Dolan released a memo to all Fairfield faculty and staff members to “correct the factual errors” in the article “Top Fairfield Admin. Get Salary Bump” featured in last week’s issue of The Mirror. While there is room for clarification in last week’s article, her memo did not bring the issue to the attention of the students, the predominant readers of The Mirror, but instead was internally distributed to faculty and staff.

In the interest of bringing this to the attention of the entire Fairfield community, The Mirror wishes to clarify the content of last week’s article.

The numbers in last week’s article reflect the total compensation of the individuals mentioned, not solely their salaries. Staff, faculty and administrators all received increases in their compensation packages last year in an effort to accommodate the changing requirements and economic situations.

As Dolan described in her memo, total compensation “includes, among other things, FICA and Medicare taxes, retirement contributions, health insurance, tuition assistance for children, and other benefit programs available to all University full time faculty, administrators, and staff.” Salary numbers for individuals paid by the University are not available to the public, and cannot be assessed based on the total compensation numbers.

Based on five year data beginning in July 2005 as calculated by an accountant outside of The Mirror and the administration of the University, it is evident that there were increases to the total compensations of many top individuals. This percent difference was calculated by taking the difference between the most recent total compensation (’09-’10) and the previous total compensation (’08-’09) and dividing the result by the previous total compensation (’08-’09).

President Jeffrey von Arx S.J., the highest paid administrator at the University, received a total compensation of $374,572 this past year; however, as is usually done, the money was instead given to the Jesuit society. This total compensation reflects a very minimal change from the past year of ’08-‘09, with a difference of only .08 percent.

Former Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley, the highest paid staff member at Fairfield, received a 22.39 percent increase in total compensation between the IRS 990 form reflecting budgets from 2008-2009 and its next annual form from 2009-2010. His total compensation for this past year (2009-2010) was $345,048, an increase from the $281,916 he had received from the University in the 2008-2009 year, according to the University IRS forms. The increases Cooley received were based on a multi-year contract.

Dr. Gregory Koutmos, a finance professor in the Dolan School of Business and the highest paid faculty member at the University, received a total compensation of $233,688 this past year which reflects a small increase of 1.24 percent from the ’08-’09 year.

The late William Lucas, former vice president of finance at the University, was noted to receive $314,717 in the ’09-’10 year, which shows an increase of 5.84 percent from the ’08-’09 year.

Stephanie Frost, the Vice President of Advancement, received $309,251 last year, an increase of 3.7 percent from the ’08-’09 year.

Dr. William Weitzer, the Senior Vice President at Fairfield, received $301,634. This change was only a .36 percent increase.

The Mirror did err when reporting that the tuition for Fairfield will be increased by “more than 4 percent for the coming year,” when it will only be increasing by 4 percent.

Last week’s article also mentioned that “the University…refused to release copies of the latest IRS 990 forms, a release of information that the University is required by law to do.” While many organizations and groups have to release their IRS 990 tax forms to the public, the University is not required by law to do so, according to Dolan. Last year, the forms had been voluntarily published online on the University website; this year, they are only available upon request.

In an interview with The Mirror last week, Dolan did mention that there are efforts being undertaken in order to help support students in this challenging financial period. The KICS program, a Connecticut initiative aimed at aiding Connecticut resident students studying at private universities in the state, will be reduced this year. However, Fairfield will be covering these losses in order to continue to support the students eligible to receive the benefits. Additionally, Dolan mentioned in her memo that “Fairfield offered $3.1 million more in financial aid (grants) to our students than last year.”

Despite confusion between the terms “salary” and “total compensation”, the general numbers in last week’s article do indicate an increase in total compensation for particular University individuals over the past few years.

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