Michael K. Young
President, Texas A & M University
(May 2015 to Present)

Michael Young & Wife Marti - 2015 in Texas
Michael Young & Wife Marti in Texas, 2015

Brigham Young High School
Class of 1967

Seattle Times - Michael K. Young
Young receives, accepts offer to become the next president of Texas A&M
The Seattle Times
February 3, 2015
By Lewis Kamb, Staff

In three weeks, University of Washington President Michael K. Young will officially take the president’s job at Texas A&M University, university officials confirmed Tuesday.

“He’s been offered the position, and accepted it,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said Tuesday. “In 21 days, he will be the next president of Texas A&M.”

Sharp’s comments came immediately after regents for the Texas A&M University System unanimously voted to name Young the university’s next president. Under Texas law, the regents must wait at least 21 days to confirm his hiring.

Sharp said the timing of Young’s arrival in College Station, Texas, is merely a formality. He is now negotiating with Young over a lucrative compensation package.

“He will be one of the best-paid college presidents in the state of Texas,” Sharp said. “He probably won’t make what an assistant football coach makes, but he’ll be paid darn well.”

Texas A&M, which Sharp described as the largest research university in the Southwest, started focusing on Young as its next president late last year. He said two head-hunting firms identified Young as one of the top 10 university presidents in the nation.

Texas A&M officials were attracted by Young’s national reputation and his track record while leading the University of Utah and later the UW.

In particular, Sharp praised Young’s success at broadening research and commercialization ventures — taking ideas and discoveries and turning them into marketable products. At the UW, Young’s efforts helped launch a record number of start-up companies, and he pushed UW to become a national leader in licensing technology.

Sharp first traveled to Seattle to meet Young in November and “asked him to return the courtesy,” he said.

Young and his wife later spent two to three days meeting with administrators, faculty and students at Texas A&M.

“He was really surprised and fell in love with the place in pretty short order,” Sharp said. “It was just a few weeks after that when we were able to come to an agreement that he’d be our next president.”

In a news release, the University of Washington included this statement from Young:
"Deciding to be a candidate for the presidency of Texas A&M University was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

"I was not looking to leave the University of Washington, but the allure of the recruitment process led to conversations in which the opportunity to bring new leadership and fresh ideas to another outstanding university presented itself with some force.

"My time at the University of Washington without question has been the most rewarding of my professional career to date. The University is one of America’s great universities, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here. There are many exciting initiatives in motion and much to look forward to. I believe my successor will have ample opportunity to build on what the outstanding leadership, faculty, staff and students at the University have under way — and of course develop new initiatives of his or her own.

"The UW has many wonderful friends and supporters, both here in the Northwest and around the globe. I am grateful to all of them for the support they have shown me and Marti and for their undying loyalty to the institution. I am also grateful to my many colleagues on the faculty and staff, and to our exceptional students. They have made my job relatively easy — they have achieved the many accomplishments of the university and deserve full credit. I will miss them all enormously.”
Young, 65, arrived at the University of Washington in April 2011, after serving as president of the University of Utah.

At the UW, Young makes a base salary of $622,008, but he is eligible for a deferred compensation payment of nearly $1 million if he stays until June 2016. If he leaves, he will receive none of that.

He received a 6.2 percent salary increase in October 2014, and at the time the UW Regents described him as performing “at exceptional levels by virtually any measure.”

The previous year, in October 2013, Young received a 4 percent raise. At that time, however, the regents gave him a more tepid review, merely describing his performance as “solid.”

Seattle Times - Michael K. Young
New Texas A&M leader is nation’s latest
million-dollar president
Houston Chronicle
By Benjamin Wermund, Staff
March 10, 2015

In the latest example of an “arms race” in public university leadership, Michael K. Young will earn at least $1.4 million a year, plus an $800,000 signing bonus, as president of Texas A&M University’s flagship campus.

Young, who will take office May 1, 2015, will be the highest-paid public university president in Texas and one of the highest-paid in the nation.

In addition to his $1 million base salary, he’ll get a $200,000 annual housing allowance and $200,000 annually in deferred compensation. He’s also eligible for up to four $100,000 bonuses for meeting performance measures.

A&M is the latest Texas university to lay out big money to lure a leader from another university or to keep a president from being stolen away.

“There’s a little bit of an arms race dimension to this high compensation for university presidents,” said Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University who heads the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. “I think A&M is one of these universities that wants to be viewed as one of the great universities in the United States. One way we demonstrate this is we show we get the best and brightest. We demonstrate this by paying salaries higher than anyone else is paying.”

Young will come to College Station from Seattle, where he spent three years leading the University of Washington. In October, Young received a 6.2 percent pay bump at the University of Washington, bringing his salary to $622,008, plus deferred compensation of $193,500, a $12,000 per year car allowance and a retirement plan contribution of $26,000.

Last month, when Young was named the finalist for the presidency, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said Young would be one of the top-paid leaders in the state.

“He probably won’t make what an assistant football coach makes, but he’ll be paid darn well,” Sharp said at the time.

Bill Powers, the outgoing president of A&M’s longtime rival, the University of Texas at Austin, made a base salary of $624,350 and receives an annual $50,000 in deferred compensation, the school said Tuesday.

A&M also is covering Young’s moving expenses to College Station and “reasonable expenses incurred in moving himself, his spouse and their personal property to their next residence away from the College Station.” Young will receive up to $15,000 in supplemental life insurance annually, providing a death benefit of $5 million.

More colleges, typically top-tier research schools like A&M, are crossing the million-dollar mark in presidential pay, said Sara Hebel, assistant managing editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education, which puts together an annual list of executive compensation at public universities.

The latest list, which used information from the 2013 fiscal year, found nine schools paying presidents more than $1 million in total compensation. That was up from four schools in 2012 and three in 2011. The first million-dollar payment wasn’t recorded until 2006, Hebel said.

Young’s $1 million base salary is higher than the $851,303 former Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee earned as base pay. Gee was the highest paid public school president in the country in 2013.

“The million-dollar college president was unheard of a decade ago, but it’s becoming increasingly common at top-tier institutions,” Hebel said.

It has also become increasingly common for presidents to get perks like a car, country club membership or housing allowance, Vedder said. But Young’s $200,000 yearly housing allowance is unheard of, he said.

Young will be A&M’s first president not to live in the sprawling, two-story colonial president’s home on campus since before Gen. Earl Rudder, who became president in 1959.

Sharp has said the home will be used for hosting dignitaries, former students and donors and to host receptions.

“What we discovered is that sharing that house with former students, the Aggie nation, could result in a lot of goodwill and a lot of fundraising and things like that that were far more valuable than having somebody live there,” Sharp said last month.

Young’s $200,000 allowance can get him far in College Station, where the median home price was $189,000 in 2015.

“Every year you could throw away your house and move into a new one,” Vedder said. “That’s a hell of an allowance. That’s just mind-boggling to me.”

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