MUSC board approves new president's contract, salary

Dr. David Cole is the new president of the Medical University of South Carolina.

The new Medical University of South Carolina president could make more than $1 million a year, according to his new contract - significantly more money than both Clemson University and University of South Carolina presidents earn.

Dr. David Cole, who was selected by the MUSC Board of Trustees earlier this year as the university's new president, will earn $890,000 in base pay. It has not been determined how much of his base salary will be paid for by the state. The MUSC Foundation and "other sources" will cover the remainder, according to the contract, which was officially approved by the board Friday morning. It extends through June 30, 2018.

Cole is also eligible for an annual $150,000 performance bonus, which would bring his total compensation to $1,040,000.

Both Clemson University President James Clements and University of South Carolina Harris Pastides earn $286,200 in base salary from the state. Clements' total salary is $775,000 and Pastides earns $681,200, according to a 2013 report.

By comparison, Gov. Nikki Haley makes $106,078 a year.

Former MUSC President Ray Greenberg earned a total $750,000 in base salary and bonuses. Cole, formerly the chairman of the university's Department of Surgery and president of MUSC Physicians, previously made $825,000 a year.

His new contract also stipulates that the Board of Trustees may "limit or eliminate Employee's clinical practice of medicine if it determines such activities interfere with Employee's duties as President."

In a previous interview, Cole said he wishes to continue practicing medicine "in a limited fashion."

In other business, the board elected Dr. Don Johnson as its new chairman. Johnson, an MUSC graduate and founder of Southeastern Spine Institute, replaces Tom Stephenson, a Greenville lawyer.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.