AMES- After speculation of whether University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld intended to remain in his role, the state Board of Regents voted to extend Harreld’s contract through 2023.
Harreld’s contract, originally set to expire in 2020, will now last through June 2023. Harreld will keep his current salary of $590,000, but will receive an increase in deferred compensation and benefits.
Harreld currently receives $200,000 annually in deferred compensation. He will receive $200,000 annually through 2020, and will receive $400,000 in deferred compensation through the end of his contract in 2023.
The regents also voted to extend the contract of Iowa State University president Wendy Winterstien through June 2023, and to extend the contract of University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook through June 2025.
All three presidents received increases in deferred compensation, but not an increase in salary.
Regents president Michael Richards said the discussions about increased compensation were initiated by the regents.
“I think we’re looking more forward – which is – we want the presidents to stay. We want to give more predictability to the institutions. We think that we have three really good presidents, and we want to incentivize them to stick with it,” he said.
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Richards emphasized the importance of leadership continuity in the decision to extend the contracts of the presidents.
“There is a strong feeling that we have the right individuals to lead our public universities and that these people bring a diverse mix of skills. Together they are a very strong team that can help lead the entire state of Iowa regents system, now and into the future, he said. “Stability in the university leadership is conducive to successful implementation of strategic visions in our universities.”
In a press release, Harreld said he is excited to continue the work he started as president.
“While, together, we have moved the university forward, there is much left to do in developing, executing, and funding our long-term strategy. It is in that context that I am excited to extend my contract,” he said in the release.
In a May 2 interview, Harreld told The Daily Iowan that he would like to continue to serve as president of the UI – although he felt he needed to decide if he was the right person to continue to lead following negative backlash towards his hiring in 2015.
“So I just go back to that period and I just wonder, have we healed and moved on? If I don’t think we have, it might not be productive to have me continue to lead on a number of really sensitive issues,” he said.
As Herrald previously told The Daily Iowan, he is excited about the upcoming agenda for the UI.
“I think the agenda is exciting, but it’s up to the Board of Regents to decide who should lead, and I need to get comfortable if they go down that path that I am the right person as well,” he said.
In the release, Harreld said he is pleased to have the continued support of the regents.
“I look forward to working together in forwarding a long-term strategy to make the UI a destination university,” he said in the release.