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USF leader to get 6.5% salary increase

Published February 21, 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 its current level of $370,651 to about $395,000. She also could 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 keep Genshaft's base salary the fourth-highest among public university president in the state.

Genshaft, 59, would still make less than the University of Florida's Bernard Machen, who has a base salary of $416,120; the University of Central Florida's John C. Hitt, whose base salary increased by 40 percent last year to $463,500; and Florida International University's Modesto Maidique, who gets $397,072.

Raymond D. Cotton, vice president of higher education for ML Strategies in Washington, D.C., said USF should be "very generous" with Genshaft.

"She is a person who has come through the academic ranks," said Cotton, who 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.

"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."

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 years old, he said, which could mean an influx in the amount of retirements soon.

Also, Cotton said, with more business leaders at the helm of higher education institutions, there has been an increase in business practices, like signing and performance bonuses.

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

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

Fast Facts:

Current base salaries, 2006-07

University of Central Florida, John C. Hitt, $463,500.

University of Florida, Bernard Machen, $416,120.

Florida International University, Modesto Maidique, $397,072.

University of South Florida, Judy Genshaft, $370,651.

Florida State University, T.K. Wetherell, $309,000.

Florida Atlantic University, Frank Brogan, $324,937.

[Last modified February 21, 2007, 01:34:32]

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