WASHINGTON – University System of Maryland officials Wednesday refused to reveal how much deferred compensation they will pay incoming Chancellor William Kirwan above his base salary of $375,000.
System spokesman Francis Canavan would not provide the amount of the annual contribution to a “deferred compensation account” that is intended to offset Kirwan’s loss of a state pension when he begins the new job. He would only say that the system will pay into the account and that Kirwan, 64, will not be able to access it immediately.
“There’s a reason it’s called a deferred compensation account,” Canavan said.
He said the payment will not compensate Kirwan “over and above his pension amount,” but will simply reduce the penalty of losing the pension. Canavan declined to release the amount, saying the Attorney General’s Office had advised Kirwan that only his salary must be disclosed.
Kirwan was on vacation with his family in Ohio and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Dawna Cobb, deputy counsel in the Education Affairs Division of the Attorney General’s Office, could not say Wednesday what advice might have been given to either Kirwan or university officials on compensation disclosure requirements.
But she said state law prohibits disclosure of pension amounts paid to state employees.
Kirwan drew a state pension when he became Ohio State University president, after 34 years in the University of Maryland system. But federal law prohibits him from receiving both a salary and a pension from Maryland on his return, said Board of Regents Treasurer Thomas Finan Jr.
He said the state will stop paying Kirwan’s pension on Aug. 1, the day Kirwan becomes chancellor.
Finan said the amount paid into what he called an annuity account will be “similar” to Kirwan’s current pension, and that the deferred compensation is not salary. He also declined to reveal the specific amount, saying pensions of state employees are protected from disclosure.
In addition to his base salary, Canavan said Kirwan will have the use of the state-owned mansion, “Hidden Waters,” in Baltimore County and will be allowed to sit on local corporate boards.
Finan, who also sits on the Regents’ Organization and Compensation Committee, said that Kirwan’s $375,000 salary is a “beginning salary” that will be reviewed annually, like his predecessor’s.
Outgoing Chancellor Donald Langenberg is scheduled to make $359,570 in salary this year, according to the University System of Maryland personnel records. Those records showed Langenberg had the ninth-largest salary in the system this year.
While the exact total of Kirwan’s compensation package has not been released, it will likely be well above Langenberg’s. In addition to Kirwan’s higher salary and the deferred compensation, Langenberg was prohibited from sitting on corporate boards, which could bring additional income.
But Kirwan is not likely to top the highest salary in the university system, $620,001 paid to a practicing physician and professor at the University of Maryland’s medical school, according to personnel records. — CNS reporter Hanah Cho contributed to this report from Annapolis.