Genshaft’s work needs to be more visible

As students continue to deal with inconveniences such as a leaky roof in Cooper Hall, USF President Judy Genshaft received another raise – her second in the past 10 months.

At Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the Board voted to give Genshaft a pay raise of $17,136, which would raise her annual salary from $342,720 to $359,856. In January, Genshaft received a $16,320 raise from the BOT, with one dissenting vote from former student body President Bijal Chhadva.

This time around, current student body President Maxon Victor did not vote in favor of the raise. He addressed the Board afterward, telling them he thought she deserved a raise, yet he could not vote for it because the students would not be happy with that.

In addition to the raise, Genshaft will receive a one-time bonus of $32,500. In January, she was awarded a $35,000 bonus, which she gave to the USF Foundation, the same organization that pays a large portion of Genshaft’s salary.

The Legislature will only pay $225,000 for salaries for university presidents.

“If we want to have the right people, we’ve got to pay them more than the state allows us to,” Dick Beard, chairman of the BOT, said to the Oracle in January. “We and all the other universities around the state do it the same way.”

Funded by private donations, the USF Foundation will also be funding the 5 percent raise and the annual bonus.

“In some cases, its (funds are) used for whatever the University chooses,” Beard said in January.

Some students will not understand why these funds are used to inflate the salary of their university president – two times in a year, no less – rather than decrease the cost of tuition or improve learning materials on campus.

Genshaft may have accomplished many of the tasks she set out to do. However, her work is mostly behind the scenes, and the students do not know about what she does. Many do not fully understand what her role as the president of USF entails. What the students see is that she is getting a raise in pay of more than they make in a year, as well as a yearly bonus that they only hope to make as a yearly salary after graduating from USF.

The two raises awarded to Genshaft may be due to the fact that the University is trying to heighten its image at a national level, in alignment with joining the Big East in July.

There is no doubt that Genshaft and her team is working hard to make USF more visible on the national stage. However, these accomplishments need to be more visible to students and faculty, and a re-evaluation is definitely needed on how much the BOT has decided to pay Genshaft.