ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The University of New Mexico's new president will receive $587,000 in compensation annually under a five-year contract approved by the university's regents.
David Schmidly, who was hired away from Oklahoma State University last weekend, will take over at UNM by June 1.
Schmidly's contract includes a $380,000 base salary, $120,000 in deferred compensation, a $42,000 yearly car allowance and a $45,000 housing allowance. At Oklahoma State, Schmidly's total compensation package was about $536,000 a year.
"To be competitive in the marketplace, you have to pay accordingly," Regent Mel Eaves said.
Regents will evaluate Schmidly and approve a set of performance goals each year.
The contract also allows UNM to fire Schmidly for any reason with 30 days' notice and a majority vote of the regents.
Schmidly replaces Louis Caldera, who resigned last year. UNM agreed to pay Caldera more than $700,000 under a settlement that led to his resignation.
Regent Jamie Koch said language in Schmidly's contract should help prevent the legal wrangling that led to Caldera's settlement. Regents were required to give Caldera one year's notice prior to termination, which Koch said created ambiguity about the length of Caldera's contract.
Koch called Schmidly's contract "very simple."
"It's really clean. There's no ambiguity about it," he said.
David Harris, UNM's acting president, and other university officials will travel to Stillwater, Okla., next week to meet with Schmidly.
"We're going to spend a lot of time discussing how to make the transition to an office out there," Schmidly said in a phone interview. "I want to get them familiar with how I operate logistically."
Schmidly has already sent a letter to all UNM employees and students listing his goals and inviting replies. He also held a Webcast meeting with students at UNM's Student Union Building to field questions and hear comments.
Schmidly said he plans to remain in Oklahoma until April 15 before moving to his home in Placitas, where he will live during his presidency.