UT Southwestern Medical Center has decided to cut Dr. Kern Wildenthal's salary by half starting in June, the latest fallout over his use of school dollars on personal travel and entertainment expenses.
Wildenthal will now make $490,000 annually as a tenured professor at UTSW. He was among Texas' highest-paid public employees before a UT System investigation, triggered by The News, faulted his "questionable judgment" in handling expenses.
When the UT System released its report two weeks ago, UTSW spokesman Tim Doke told us that Wildenthal's nearly $1 million salary would decrease to mirror his diminished responsibilities. Wildenthal resigned immediately as special assistant to his presidential successor, Dr. Daniel Podolsky, and yesterday stepped down as president of UTSW's main fundraising arm, Southwestern Medical Foundation.
Anticipating such a pay cut, one of Wildenthal's biggest supporters urged the UT System to let him pursue consulting contracts. William T. "Bill" Solomon, chairman of UTSW's arm, asked system Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa in an e-mail to give Wildenthal "flexibility to serve in some meaningful capacity" with the charity and "engage in appropriate outside consulting activities to supplement lost income."