Higher education

UI and ISU presidents request no pay raise

Board will next consider their compensation in January

Incoming University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld smiles during an interview with The Gazette in his office in Jessup Hall on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Incoming University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld smiles during an interview with The Gazette in his office in Jessup Hall on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

AMES — Presidents of the University of Iowa and Iowa State University asked not to get pay increases this year, and the Board of Regents Monday granted that request moments before approving tuition hikes.

The board in June evaluated the annual performance of UI President Bruce Harreld and ISU President Steven Leath, along with Steve Gettel, superintendent for the Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, and regents Executive Director Robert Donley.

The board didn’t evaluate former University of Northern Iowa President William Ruud because he has resigned to head a private college in Ohio.

Monday, the board did increase Gettel’s base salary 2.5 percent from $185,400 to $190,035 and awarded him a performance incentive of $7,500. And it awarded Donley a performance incentive of $8,000. But, like the UI and ISU presidents, Donley didn’t receive an annual compensation increase.

Regents President Bruce Rastetter said the board in January will again consider compensation of its institutional heads and Donley.

The Gazette reported that in the 2015 budget year, Donley earned more than double a salary cap set by the Legislature. Thanks to $184,166 in board-approved bonuses and deferred compensation, Donley in fiscal 2015 earned $338,466 — more than twice his $154,300 salary cap.

The $8,000 performance incentive awarded to him on Monday was approved last year, and he also has two, two-year deferred compensation plans still scheduled to pay out, one worth $125,000 and another worth $140,000.

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The board last summer approved a 5 percent pay raise for ISU’s Leath, bringing his salary in line with former UI President Sally Mason at $525,000. The board at that time also approved a five-year deferred compensation plan for Leath, giving him $125,000 annually through 2020.

UNI’s Ruud last year got a 2.5 percent bump in his base pay, bringing it to $357,110, along with a two-year deferred compensation plan with annual contributions of $75,000. Gettel at the time saw his pay increase 3 percent, bringing his salary to $185,400.

Harreld wasn’t yet on the job last August when the board approved new compensation levels for its other presidents. But when he started in November, the board set his first-year salary at $590,000, with a five-year deferred compensation plan contributing $200,000 annually.

Rastetter said Harreld and Leath requested the status quo salaries months ago and said the board decision was not tied to tuition increases also approved Monday.

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