University of Florida’s new president is set to become the highest-paid of the state’s public university chief, nearly doubling the base salary of most others at more than $1 million.
W. Kent Fuchs, 59, is coming from Cornell University, where he served as provost. He will make about $1,040,000 per year in base salary and an annual deferred payment.
The Gainesville Sun reports that Fuchs’ pay dwarfs outgoing president Bernie Machen’s $730,000 annual compensation, but brings Florida’s president’s earnings in line with other elite universities.
The higher pay reflects the expectations of a new generation of university leaders, said Board of Trustees Chair Steve Scott. The university looked at 12 other schools in the Association of American Universities including Ohio State, Penn State, Harvard and Northwestern, where the average presidential pay ranged from $907,000 to $1.4 million.
Florida State University’s new president, John Thrasher, would be paid about $530,000 in base salary and performance bonuses.
About $200,000 of Fuchs’ pay will come from public coffers, according to state law, with the rest raised through private donations.
He will also get a raise of 4 percent each year if the school meets short-term performance goals, or less if it’s not meeting all of those goals.
Fuchs and his wife will live in a new, $3.1 million, 7,500-square-foot mansion constructed for the president.
Florida wants to become a Top 10 public university in the United States. Currently it ranks No. 14 on the U.S. News and World Report rankings of best public colleges.