St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Genshaft gets a raise

Published February 20, 2007


TAMPA — University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft is set to receive a 6.5 percent increase in her base salary and the chance to more than double her annual bonus.

The five-year contract, which the school’s board of trustees is expected to approve, would increase Genshaft’s base salary from it’s current level of $370,651 to about $395,000. She could also earn a $100,000 annual performance bonus if the school meets certain goals.

The trustee’s compensation committee unanimously voted for the increase Tuesday after data from a hired analyst showed Genshaft’s pay ranked near the bottom quarter of university presidents at comparable schools nationally and across the state.

The new contract, which would take effect in July, would make Genshaft the third highest-paid public university president in the state, up one place from where she stands now.

Genshaft, 59, would still make less than the University of Florida’s Bernard Machen, who has a base salary of $416,120, and the University of Central Florida’s John C. Hitt, whose base salary increased by 40 percent last summer to $463,500 a year.

Raymond D. Cotton, vice president of higher education for Washington, D.C.-based ML Strategies, said USF should be “very generous” with Genshaft.

“She is a person who has come through the academic ranks,” said Cotton, who has spent more than 25 years reviewing university president salaries and prepared the analysis for USF’s trustees. “You have a great match here.”
Including retirement, car, membership fees and other incentives, Genshaft’s total compensation package could exceed $600,000 a year.

The trustee committee chose to use UF as its benchmark for setting Genshaft’s salary, saying it was more in keeping with the market for a university of its size and reputation.

Only UF has more full time students enrolled in the state than USF, which is also No. 2 for research.
The board chose not to focus too much on the high salary for Hitt, UCF’s president, because they didn’t fully understand what drove that school’s trustees to approve such a large increase.

“I just think that we need to do all we can to keep (Genshaft) here and not even give her a yearning to answer the call from somebody,” said USF trustee Debbie Sembler . “I think we need to put together a spectacular package.”

In December, trustees approved a $37,000 bonus for Genshaft,. They said she deserved it because of several milestones the school reached last year, including a multimillion-dollar partnership with SRI International, a Silicon Valley research institute.

Cotton, the analyst, said that the demand for qualified university presidents has risen as the pool declines. About 40 percent of presidents nationwide are 60 year’s old, he said, which could mean an influx in the amount of retirements soon.

Also, Cotton said, universities are increasingly recruiting presidents away from their current schools. And with more business leaders at the helm of higher education institutions, there has been an increase in business practices, like signing and performance bonuses. Cotton said those didn’t exist two decades ago.

Roy Weatherford, a USF professor and president of the schools chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, urged the committee to show as much concern for faculty salaries as they did for Genshaft’s.

Disagreements about an increase in faculty pay for this school year continue, he said, and USF faculty have yet to get approved an increase that was to take effect in August.

“It’s clearly important to attract and keep a good president,” Weatherford said. “But this university primarily needs a good faculty.”

Besides an increase in base salary, Genshaft’s new contract would give her a $300,000 retention bonus. She’d receive half after three years and the remainder after the last two years of the contract.

Genshaft, who took over as president in 2000, has requested that some things be taken out of her new deal, including a $4,000 a year travel allowance for her husband and money for personal financial legal advisers. The board of trustees could approve her new contract as early as March 1.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story. Kevin Graham can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or

[Last modified February 20, 2007, 21:18:32]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters