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$122.5K performance stipend recommended for Genshaft

Published: Monday, November 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013 08:11


Members of the Board of Trustees Compensation Committee had nothing but words of high praise for USF President Judy Genshaft as they reviewed her annual self-evaluation and decided to recommend to the full Board of Trustees (BOT) in two weeks the resident receive the full amount of the performance stipend the committee is allowed to award to her — $122,500. 

Three members of the four-person committee spoke via conference call with the president’s chief of staff listening in Friday afternoon to evaluate Genshaft’s performance and review the goals she set for herself during her 13th year as president of USF. 

Genshaft, who receives an annual base salary of $470,000 per year, in addition to a 12 percent deferred compensation of base salary, a retention stipend of $100,000 annually at the completion of her contract in 2016, membership at Tampa Palms Country Club and University Club, a car and residence at the Lifsey House, which she does not use, is eligible each year for up to $175,000 in a performance stipend that comes from private, non-state funds, of which 70 percent is at the discretion of the compensation and 30 percent — or the remaining $52,500 — is decided upon by the chairman of the BOT. Last year, Genshaft chose to defer the payment of her performance bonus and received $545,527.16 in total compensation, according to a public records request.

“This is a very exciting time for USF — especially under Dr. Genshaft. … I think we all agree she has performed incredibly well and has guided us through the tough political waters last year and the difficult economic climate since 2008,” chairman of the committee and Board of Trustees member Jordan Zimmerman said. “I believe she is the reason USF has emerged from this period as a stronger, more streamlined, more focused system.”

The committee discussed Genshaft’s performance and actions toward each goal particularly in light of the state funding challenges the university faces.

Zimmerman said while the university is appreciative of the restoration of the $45 million in recurring funding that was cut the year before during statewide budget cuts to the University System — something Board of Governors now-chairman Mori Hosseini wrote to USF about less than a month ago, expressing disappointment in USF’s stance of publicly continuing budget reductions in relation to state funding — he said much of USF’s financial stability was due to Genshaft’s leadership.

“Under President Genshaft, we are seeing budget reductions,” he said. “We are seeing elimination of non-value-adding programs — of programs that do not have demand for jobs … We are seeing realigning revenue with expenses to result in savings that could be invested back into the strategic priorities.”

The committee praised Genshaft on meeting, for the most part, the three goals she set for herself in the areas of student success, research and revenue-generating funds. 

Genshaft met and exceeded all the sub-goals she set for herself in the category of student success for the Tampa campus — the freshman retention rate is above 89 percent, the six-year graduation rate is above 54 percent, the average incoming first-time in college FTIC SAT score is above 1738. The St. Petersburg campus, however, “fell a little short,” Zimmerman said, with a freshman retention rate of 69 percent, a six-year graduation rate of 33 percent and an average incoming FTIC SAT score of 1585. 

Byron Shinn, a trustee on the committee, said Genshaft should be praised, however, for bringing Sophia Wisniewska as regional chancellor when Margaret Sullivan stepped down in August, writing in a letter to Genshaft in May that she was stepping down and the institution was on a good trajectory. 

“She changed the chancellor for St. Pete,” Shinn said. “She recognized the improvements that needed to be made, so she’s making the tough decisions needed to meet those goals, even though we fell short slightly.” 

In terms of research, the university exceeded its goal of $400 million in contracts and grants by $13 million, met its goal of fostering an “innovation culture” and promoting “intellectual property of faculty, students and staff” through patents and licensing with a record number of technology transfers during the fiscal year and met its goal of “enhanc(ing) the workforce and increas(ing) employment in our community and state” through creating and aiding new businesses and startups.

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