department chair

UT pays former deans who now serve as professors in the School of Social Work and the School of Architecture at higher rates than the schools’ current deans.

From data obtained through a public information request, The Daily Texan found the pay rates of four former deans and one department chair increased or remained the same after they resigned from their administrative position to teach and research full time. The Daily Texan also found that a vice president who stepped down from his position saw a smaller salary decrease than a dean who stepped down from his position two months later. Out of seven administrators The Daily Texan looked at, only one saw a decrease in monthly pay.

One of the former deans, social work professor Barbara White, earns $237,250 annually, the same as her salary before she stepped down as dean in August 2011. In 2011-2012, current social work dean Luis H. Zayas’ salary was $183,333 — $53,917 less than White’s, according to The Texas Tribune government employee database.

Another former dean, architecture professor Lawrence Speck, earns $948 a month more than current architecture dean Frederick Steiner.

Speck, who served as architecture dean from 1993 to 2001, had a $140,000 salary in 2001 and earned $138,000 as a professor the following year. As dean, Speck was paid for 12 months of work, but as a professor, his professor’s salary is paid for nine months of work from September to May. As dean in 2001, Speck earned $11,667 per month, and as a professor he earned $15,333 per month.

As a professor, UT now pays Speck $204,151, or $22,683 per month, for the nine-month academic year. In 2011-2012, current architecture dean Steiner earned $260,820, or $21,735 per month, for 12 months.

Steven Leslie said as UT executive vice president and provost, he oversees all deans and makes adjustments to a faculty member’s salary if they step down as a dean. The University pays professors on a nine-month academic schedule and deans on a 12-month administrative schedule, Leslie said.

“If an administrator has been in a higher position for many years, sometimes the circumstance is that the academic rate is too low,” Leslie said.

Marketplace-related issues that vary across fields drive faculty salaries, and the University makes salary decisions to recruit and retain faculty members, Leslie said.

Leslie was not at the University when Speck’s salary was reappointed after Speck stepped down as dean and said he is unaware of the specific measures taken into consideration when deciding his salary as a professor.

Juan Gonzalez’s salary went from $232,456 for 12 months to $204,164 for nine months when he stepped down from working as vice president for student affairs. During his last year in that position, UT also paid Gonzalez for working as a research fellow. UT now pays Gonzalez for working as a senior lecturer and a research fellow.

UT president William Powers Jr. oversees salary reappointments for vice presidents who step down.

Former School of Undergraduate Studies dean Paul Woodruff, who was paid $253,575 on an administrative schedule during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, also saw a decrease when he stepped down. Woodruff now serves as a professor and earns $164,172 on a nine-month academic schedule.

Gonzalez’s monthly pay increased to $22,685 from $19,371 while Woodruff’s monthly pay dropped to $18,241 from $21,131.

Public affairs professor Victoria Rodriguez and finance professor George Gau, saw higher monthly pay rates as professors than they received as deans. During Rodriguez’s last year as dean in 2009, she earned $219,300, or $18,275 a month. In this fiscal year, UT pays Rodriguez $165,000, or $18,333, per month for nine months. In 2008. Gau earned $332,500 as a dean, or $27,708 a month. UT now pays Gau $257,500, or $28,611 a month, for nine months.

Engineering professor Joseph Beaman stepped down as chair of the mechanical engineering department in January. Beaman’s salary for 2012-2013 is $224,129 — $11,000 more than his previous nine-month academic rate of $213,129 for 2011-2012. In 2011-2012, current department chair Jayathi Murthy was paid $120,556 — $103,573 less than Beaman.

UT spokesperson Tara Doolittle said salary changes for a department chair who steps down to become a professor are handled by the dean of the college or school.

Maria Arrellaga, spokesperson for the Cockrell School of Engineering, said Beaman’s salary increased because of a standard stipend given to faculty members after they serve two terms as a department chair. Chair terms are typically four years, and Beaman served for 11 years.

Christine Matyear, energetic teacher, cat-lover and skeet-shooter, died Thursday morning.

Matyear, a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, died while she was home with her family after fighting ovarian cancer for several months, department chair Craig Champlin said.

Matyear started working at UT in 1998. While teaching in the communications sciences and disorders department, she also taught the subject’s honors sequence, the Senior Fellows Program and signature courses in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

Champlin said Matyear advocated for students and took the vocation of teaching seriously.

“She had high standards and integrity,” Champlin said. “She was very conscious about insuring that learning was occurring. I think students really responded to that.”

Shannon Jacobson, communications sciences and disorders senior, said Matyear always had a smile on her face.

“To me, she embodied the phrase ‘age is just a number,’” Jacobson said. “She was a really passionate person in everything she did, from her cats, to her grandkids and to the classes that she taught.”

Jacobson said she took three classes with Matyear, who always made class engaging.

“Her classes were definitely tough, but they were really fair,” Jacobson said. “Her tests were notoriously hard, but I never felt like it was a burden to study, because she presented the subject material in such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic way.“

Allie Jensen, communications sciences and disorders sophomore, said Matyear was one of a kind.

“She was always super energetic in lecture and made a difficult subject like hearing science easy to understand,” Jensen said. “She had a personal story for every subject we talked about that complemented the massive amounts of information we were learning.”

Jacobson said Matyear also loved her cats. She said she had friends who took an online class with Matyear, and the professor would hold up her cats to the webcam.

Roderick Hart, dean of the College of Communication, said Matyear was of “inestimable” value to the college.

“Her generosity of spirit and breadth of vision will be profoundly missed by faculty and students alike,” Hart said.

Champlin said memorial services will be announced soon.

Printed on Friday, October 5, 2012 as: Senior lecturer dies, known for enthusiasm: Students laud professor's care, accessibility