Students mixed on president’s salary raise

Deciding whether USF President Judy Genshaft should receive a more-than-$16,000 raise, some students aren’t quick to make a judgment.

“It’s not that I don’t think she deserves a raise. It’s that if she is already making a good amount of money, it should go to students,” said junior Jess Wissmann. “She isn’t suffering.”

Genshaft’s current salary is $326,400. Only two years ago Genshaft received an $88,600 raise. The proposed raise would be paid with private funds from the USF Foundation.

Busy with their classes, these students wouldn’t know the current salaries of other state university presidents or the names of the Board of Trustees members, but they see other uses for the money from their perspective.

Freshman Jorge Flores sat with his friend Alex Page outside the USF library Wednesday morning. Openly admitting his lack of knowledge on the matter, he could see helpful ways the money might be used for students.

“Maybe they could make buildings for the kids that have to take classes in the mall,” he said.

“I think it could be spent on buildings or better equipment,” Page said, remembering the daily shuffling of equipment from classroom to classroom.

BOT Chairman Dick Beard said that funding for new buildings and equipment doesn’t come from USF.

“That is something that is really in the hands of the Legislature,” said Beard. “She doesn’t have complete control over it.”

He justifies Genshaft’s possible raise with several accomplishments made in the past few years.

“We’ve got a new dean of the medical school, a new provost. We started the research buildings,” Beard said, adding that funding for the Sarasota campus has been approved.

“We lobbied the governor and legislation (for the funding),” he said. “I think it was $17 or $18 million dollars.”

He also takes into consideration the salaries of other USF faculty.

“Do you think the president should make less than the coach or the dean of the medical school?” he said. “She is not the highest paid person on campus.”

What the money pays for, he said, is her executive ability.

“What you are paying for is talent,” he said. “How do you determine what a job is worth?”

The Board will make its final decision on whether Genshaft will receive a raise in a teleconference meeting at 2 p.m. today.