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Letters to the Editor

Genshaft deserves her salary and benefits

Re: “Hefty salaries for academic executives unnecessary ,” by Josh Corban, Sept. 26.

Josh Corban sells USF President Judy Genshaft short. He believes she is overpaid. In his assessment of her duties, however, he seems to underestimate the scope of her responsibilities.

She leads a Carnegie Tier 1 research university, which is reserved for institutions generating extremely high research activity. USF is one of only 96 universities in the nation to earn this honor, placing it in the same group as Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Stanford.

This recognition is a testament to the commitment of academic excellence of this University. To use Josh’s CEO analogy, it is as if Genshaft were leading one of the top 96 companies in the United States, and by that criterion, she is underpaid.

Genshaft oversees the millions of dollars funneled into the University from disparate sources. She has a role in everything this institution does, including budgeting, managing the needs of diverse colleges and fundraising.

More than that, the president of a university must have unique insight into the needs of faculty, staff, students and alumni while being mired in local, state, and federal politics. It is a 365-day-per-year job, and it often starts early and extends into the late hours, frequently necessitating travel. I believe fewer people could handle the job than Josh thinks.

Does this mean she is overpaid? I think not. The real question Josh should have asked is: “Why are the faculty and staff so underpaid?”

Their jobs are indeed critical, as Josh points out, and they definitely deserve higher pay. Genshaft, however, does not deserve less.

Jason L. Simms is a doctoral student in anthropology and an master student in global health.