USF President Genshaft to meet for bonus proposal

UPDATED: An earlier version of this story contained inaccurate information about the salaries of several of the state’s highest paid university presidents.

USF President Judy Genshaft will find out today whether the Board of Trustees (BOT) believes she deserves an annual performance bonus.

But if last week’s evaluation is any indication, Genshaft is likely to receive a substantial reward – as much as a $175,000 bonus to her existing $470,000 base salary.

“I believe she continues to provide strong leadership and vision to the USF system,” BOT member Jordan Zimmerman said Nov. 26 at the compensation committee.

Genshaft accepted $166,250 last year. In addition to any potential bonus and her base salary, she will receive an annual $100,000 retention stipend paid upon contract completion in 2016.

The BOT also provides Genshaft with a membership to the Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club, a residence at the Lifsey House on campus and an automobile to be replaced at least once every three years.

At last week’s committee meeting, Zimmerman made a case for why USF is “lucky to have her” by highlighting the accomplishments of Genshaft’s 14th year as university president.

“With more than 47,900 students and 241 degree programs, President Genshaft and her team continue to move USF forward,” he said. “Specifically in the areas of student success, graduation rates, research, funding and fundraising.”

USF is now ranked 43rd in research expenditures that total over $428 million, including an increase of $15 million this year. UF is ranked 23rd and the University of Miami is ranked 61st.

It is under Genshaft’s leadership that Zimmerman said the university met its long-term goal of ranking nationally as a top research school.

USF is presently also ranked 12th in the world for universities receiving patents. No other Florida university made the list.

Zimmerman said USF had its best legislative session over this past year following the $31 million the state gave USF in performance funding.

USF Tampa received $5 million to create the Florida Center for Cybersecurity and $15 million for the construction of the USF Heart Health Institute on campus, though the construction project could move to downtown with the USF Morsani College of Medicine.

Zimmerman also credited Genshaft with bolstering the university’s financial stability, citing the $114 million raised in one year by the Unstoppable campaign.

Student success, however, was an area this year in which Genshaft did not meet all her goals. She aimed for a 90 percent retention rate for 2012 freshman on the Tampa campus, but the outcome came up 1 percent shy. 

After Zimmerman finished presenting the evidence to the Nov. 26 compensation committee, the trustees unanimously praised Genshaft.

The compensation committee, which awards 70 percent of the $175,000 maximum, agreed $116,375 would be an appropriate figure. The BOT Chair has discretion with awarding the remaining 30 percent.

Near the end of the meeting, Zimmerman suggested the trustees review Genshaft’s $470,000 base salary to “hold the line with employees raises these past few years.” 

The rest of the committee agreed there should be a later discussion.