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Possible Genshaft raise too high

She hasn’t done much since she began her job in 2000, but the Board of Trustees thinks President Judy Genshaft deserves a hefty pay raise and a benefits package that, combined, may total more than $1 million. However, such a raise, or anything more than $20,000-$30,000, is too much.

Genshaft has faced several lawsuits and challenges since being named president, but she has handled them all poorly and, in certain situations, such as the Sami Al-Arian case, not at all. She already makes $237,000 a year and has access to the Lifsey House, which she does not even use.

USF is a Research I facility and deserves to have good leadership. But USF should get what it pays for.

To propose a potential $1 million package is absurd. Perhaps it could be justified if Genshaft did something to warrant it, such as answering the Faculty Union’s questions, standing up for her faculty and students during board meetings and talking to the local press during times of stress and controversy, not just when she wants positive stories about USF.

Included in the package is a proposed $100,000 signing bonus. Why does Genshaft need a signing bonus? Is there a question of her not returning to her post? Is she to be traded with the University of Florida’s president? Such questions are preposterous, as is the need for a signing bonus. She will sign her contract; and if she doesn’t, USF might be better off for it.

The BOT could take the package offered to Genshaft and find a president who actually wants to lead the university. Of course, then the BOT might be caught between a rock and a court case — if Genshaft leaves, the next president may not play along as well as she has.

It is important to note that Genshaft did not ask for the raise. It is also notable that a raise is not uncommon and is a statewide occurrence right now.

But to suggest that Genshaft needs a car provided with a driver, entertainment allowances and a spousal compensation is ludicrous.

The BOT should be trying to give more faculty members raises, not the paltry 100 awards the university tried to pass off as rewards for outstanding faculty. Genshaft does not need or deserve such a large raise.

She should get an appropriate raise or benefits package because she has been in her position for several years, does work hard and has many responsibilities, but she certainly does not work hard enough to deserve a $1-million contract.