The UW System Board of Regents decided last week not to give UW-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper a raise months after her husband was banned from campus for repeated claims of sexual harassment.
Kopper’s husband, Alan “Pete” Hill, was banned from campus this summer after an investigation found he sexually harassed female employees while he was in an unpaid position called associate to the chancellor.
UW System President Ray Cross wrote to Kopper on June 22 announcing his decision to ban Hill.
The decision remained quiet until Kopper announced the move publicly Sept. 14, just minutes after the UW System sent related documents to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to fulfill a records request from the newspaper.
Hill denied the allegations against him. Kopper said she supported the decision to remove her husband, but she wrote to Cross saying she had “concerns” with parts of the investigator’s report.
Next year, Kopper’s base salary will stay at $242,760, which previously ranked fifth out of 13 chancellors in the UW System.
Starting Jan. 1 after raises for other chancellors set in, Kopper will be paid the second lowest.
She will earn more than UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joseph Gow, who faced criticism in the wake of inviting a porn star to speak on campus. Kopper, Gow and Chancellor Dennis Shields of UW-Platteville are the three UW System chancellors who won’t get a raise next year.
Kopper is the shortest-tenured chancellor among the 13.
The money for the raises “primarily” came from redistributing the salary of former UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen, a UW System spokesperson said in an email. Sandeen’s position was eliminated in a system-wide restructuring.
UW-W would not say if Kopper was told why she did not get a raise and instead directed questions to the UW System, which also did not give a reason.
“These are demanding jobs, and today’s increases are based on merit and performance,” the spokesperson said.
The sexual harassment allegations against Hill led to questions of why and to what extent Kopper should be held responsible for her husband’s behavior.
Kopper faced calls to resign from state Sen. Steve Nass, R-La Grange, and Stephanie (Goettl) Vander Pas, who was serving on the Whitewater City Council this fall. She said Hill touched her inappropriately during her time as a student at UW-W.
After the news broke, the UW System opened a new investigation into Hill’s conduct.