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Law to make at least $80,000 more a year in new contract

Newly confirmed President Rhea Law received an increase in pay, potentially earning her near $1.1 million a year. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/USF

Wednesday’s Florida’s Board of Governors’ meeting not only confirmed Rhea Law as the University of South Florida’s eighth president, but also increased her interim salary in her renewed contract.

Although Law has been leading the university since August, the freshly confirmed president officially takes reins on Thursday. Law’s list of presidential duties and responsibilities remain unchanged from the 2021 interim presidential contract, however, there was one significant modification — her pay.

As interim president, Law was raking in a $575,000 base salary, not including stipends for utilities, such as housing and transportation. The updated contract, which will be in effect for the next three years, raised her annual salary to $655,000, giving Law an $80,000 boost.

Stipends for normal expenditures, like vehicle and housing costs, remained unchanged, allotting Law $12,000 for transportation and $84,000 for housing a year. Law’s potential earnings for a performance-based compensation increased from $275,000 to $300,000. This is a bonus which is gifted by the Board of Trustees depending on the president’s performance in respect to the university’s goals, according to the presidential contract.

All streams of revenue included, Law has the potential to earn almost $1.1 million a year.

Compared to her predecessors, Law’s salary sits in the higher range of base salaries for USF presidents. Topping Law is former President Steven Currall, who earned a $671,000 salary, without any bonuses, according to a 2019 Oracle article. On the other hand, former President Judy Genshaft’s salary is dwarfed compared to both Law and Currall, earning just a base of $493,500 in 2017.

Despite Law ascending to the Chronicle of Higher Education top-12 highest paid university presidents, her base salary lands her in the middle of the pack in terms of Floridian scholastic leaders. Sitting on top of the totem is UF’s President Kent Fuch, who earns a base salary of $926,000 per year, according to a 2019 ABC article.

Law’s $80,000 base increase in pay arrives during a tense time for USF faculty, who have not received a raise in the past two years, according to a Tuesday Oracle article. Similar to Law, university faculty, in conjunction with demands produced by the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), are supposed to receive an updated contract every three years.

Having their contract expire in 2020, UFF has been in constant deliberation with the university to update the wages to no avail.