The $1 million dollar bonus may be even larger this year!!!!!!

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A Chronicle editorial said Fact Checker's expose of the extraordinary bonuses paid Duke administrators needs context:

First the context of the corporate world where such salaries and better salaries are common.

Second it would be better to view these bonuses as part of the larger scheme of equity for all employees.

From Fact Checker

Your thoughtful editorial suggests that the huge pay checks for administrators should be part of a larger dialogue about equity in pay at Duke. And the Fact Checker organization agrees.

Please be advised that the Brodhead Administration, through Michael Schoenfeld, VP for public relations, has either refused to provide information that would enable this dialogue -- or not answered our repeated e-mails at all.

Since the financial crisis began, we have sought information not about individuals, but about the group of people laid off. How many people were involved, what were their salaries, and what about their demographics, sex and race.

We sought the same about people taking incentives to retire, for the additional reason of ascertaining how their pensions were being augmented and whether they’d have enough income to live decently.

With respect to incentives offered faculty, we have called again and again for information about these payments, and the demographics involved.

For the past three years, we have requested information about the demographics of top-earning people at Duke, including 776 in Duke Health and 1,831 in “education” positions who earned more than $100,000 in 2008-09. We think knowing who is in these positions would be an excellent report card on our commitment to equity and affirmative action.

Again, we were denied or received no response.

In the past 24 hours, the spin doctors have made much of the term “bonus,” trying to bury it. Please be advised that “bonus and incentive compensation” is not a category created by Fact Checker, but rather the precise term used in the source reports we received personally from Mr. Schoenfeld. Federal law mandates access to these reports from Duke and all non-profits; we obtained these reports after protracted correspondence.

All that is past. We invite the Brodhead Administration to give us all the information now, enabling the university-wide analysis the Chronicle called for.

We further call upon the Administration to release specific information about top officials for 2009-10 forthwith. All of this has been audited and there is no reason we cannot have it now. The federal reports are due December 31st, but Duke always seeks extensions that drag this into late spring. With respect to Dr. Dzau, we are most concerned that his $1 million extra payment -- call it whatever you want -- came after a year when Duke Health turned a profit of $175.4 million. The next report on Dzau’s earnings will cover a year when profits were $220.3 million.

ESR / Fact Checker