BOT awards Genshaft new contract

USF President Judy Genshaft will remain at the helm of the USF system for, at least, another year. The USF Board of Trustees (BOT) on Thursday unanimously approved an additional one-year contract to extend her tenure to 17 years through June 2017.

Genshaft’s contract includes a base compensation of $493,500, up five percent from $470,000 in her last five-year contract. She will also be eligible for a performance stipend of up to $275,000, an increase from the previous contract's annual stipend of $175,000. However, the contract does not include the $100,000 retention stipend that was part of her previous contract.

The contract's possible total value is $867,200, including the five-percent base pay and eight percent deferred compensation.

BOT Chairman Hal Mullis presented the proposal and several members of the BOT compensation workgroup cited her accomplishments as incentive for the reappointment.

“There was open discussion at that (workgroup) meeting of the president’s performance,” he said. “You will recall the comments were unanimously and strongly supportive of her efforts, as well as her accomplishments.”

Genshaft, the second-longest sitting president of a State University System school, has made significant enhancements to USF’s enrollment and graduation rates and endowment.

“We were very direct and honest with each other,” trustee Brian Lamb said. “It was a data-driven discussion. We spent a fair amount of time trying to lay the current contract next to what we’re proposing. We were trying not to (turn) this into a performance review. The current contract had a retention bonus in it."

Genshaft has increased university system enrollment by 37 percent during her tenure.  The endowment has seen an increase of 167 percent to $420 million in the same amount of time. 

Additionally, she has been honored by 11 national and local organizations, and has received three international recognitions, including the first honorary degree given to a woman by Yeungnam University in South Korea. 

 “That didn't happen by accident,” trustee Byron Shinn said. “You have to have a leader that allows for that creativity.”

Additional benefits in the contract are automobile insurance, a $988 monthly stipend to cover the expenses of owning a car, and annual dues and membership fees for the Tampa Palms Country Club and the University Club.

According to an evaluation of her previous contract, Genshaft received a $175,000 stipend in December 2015.

Like her previous contract, the one-year term will also include a standard that requires Genshaft to create a list of performance goals to be presented before the full Board.

“The new contract requires that the president’s annual goals and objectives be submitted to the full (BOT) for approval,” Mullis said.

Trustee Stephen Mitchell expressed concern over the potential for Board cooperation in designing Genshaft’s contract in the time since her last contract was signed. He expressed hope that the Board would have a full discussion in advance of the next contract they plan to propose to the president.

“It is my hope, since this is a one-year agreement, that when we sit down to discuss the agreement that will go into effect in July of 2017, we’ll get a head start on it and broaden the participation,” he said.

Mitchell also shared concern that the contract’s stipulations regarding performance goals and objectives were unrealistic in practice for a one-year contract.

“Some of the language in the contract still anticipates … a five-year agreement,” he said. “I’m a little bit concerned that, unlike the five-year agreement — the five-year agreement works well when we have a rolling performance and goals objective, but given this is a finite term, one-year agreement, … we cannot put any kind of performance standards, or how she’s going to be measured over ($275,000)."

According to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education compiled by UCF in October 2015, Genshaft’s total compensation — base compensation and deferred compensation — is above the 90th percentile of comparably sized universities across the country.

The student trustee, USF St. Petersburg Student Body President Jozef Gherman, extended his thanks to Genshaft for her advocacy on behalf of the student body.

“Thank you, President Genshaft, for always having the students and being one of our biggest allies, if not our biggest,” he said.

Genshaft thanked the full Board and expressed eagerness to continue at the helm of the USF system.

"Coasting is not in my DNA. It is not in the team around me, their DNA, either," she said. "I don't think you're going to see that. I just want to thank everybody for the confidence that you have in me."