The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Mason could get $80,000 bonus

COUNCIL BLUFFS — UI President Sally Mason will not receive a pay raise for fiscal 2010, but she could receive a bonus of up to $80,000.

The state Board of Regents announced at its Thursday meeting in Council Bluffs that Mason and the presidents of Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa could garner performance bonuses, though the regents froze their base salaries earlier this year.

In late February, the regents announced it would not offer raises or fiscal 2009 performance bonuses to presidents at the three regent universities. Leaders at the state’s schools for the deaf and blind also relinquished salary increases or performance incentives.

The current bonuses range from a possible $25,000 for UNI President Ben Allen to Mason’s potential $80,000, which fits with the typical bonus plan.

Bonus money would come from the universities’ general operating budgets, said Regent President David Miles.

“For the year that ended in 2009 [the institutions heads] would have been eligible for them, but we didn’t give any,” he said. “They are eligible for the bonuses this year, but we reserve the right not to give them.”

The regents will know which heads will receive bonuses within a few weeks, he said.

Typically, raises and bonuses are doled out after annual performance reviews, which the regents conducted in closed sessions on Wednesday. As planned, the regents held off on raising any president’s salary due to budget concerns. The regents will decide which leaders deserve performance bonuses by examining the presidents’ goals and other categories, some of which hold more weight.

Because of the faltering economy, university leaders did not meet some of their goals set last year. For example, the regents expected Mason to fill vacancies on the UI’s administrative team but five of the spots still remain open.

When regents announced earlier this year they would ask institutional heads to surrender raises, UI Provost Wallace Loh said the move was positive during tough economic times.

“It is leadership by example,” Loh told the DI in March. “Once the president sets the example, then I think vice presidents and deans may very well want to follow that example.”

Across the country, some university presidents rarely earn bonuses, regardless of economic conditions.

Dan Wolter, spokesman for the University of Minnesota, said his school did not offer its president a plan similar to the regents’.

“Bonuses here are really uncommon except in business development offices where people might be eligible,” he said. “Our president will not be getting a bonus.”

Mike Lillich, assistant director in the Office for University Relations at the University of Illinois, also said his school didn’t give raises, but made some financial exceptions to attract and retain top faculty.

Mason will remain the highest paid regent university president in the state at a base salary of $450,000. ISU President Greg Geoffrey brings in $423,315, and UNI President Ben Allen has a salary of $320,000.

This is the second year Mason will not receive a salary increase. The regents denied her a raise last year after the UI mishandled an alleged Hillcrest sexual-assault case.

DI reporter Regina Zilbermints contributed to this report.

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