Education

UI, ISU, UNI presidents receive contract extensions, compensation bumps

Wendy Wintersteen (from left), Iowa State University president, shares a laugh with Bruce Harreld, University of Iowa president, before a Board of Regents meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City on Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Wendy Wintersteen (from left), Iowa State University president, shares a laugh with Bruce Harreld, University of Iowa president, before a Board of Regents meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City on Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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AMES — All three of Iowa’s public university presidents received contract extensions and compensation increases Thursday from the Board of Regents.

Board President Mike Richards said he and his colleagues are happy with the team of university heads and want to enable them to continue.

“There is a strong feeling that we have the right individuals to lead our public universities and that these people bring a diverse mix of skills,” Richards said. “Together, they are a very strong team that can help lead the entire State of Iowa regent system now and into the future.”

The board approved the contracts moments after giving final approval for across-the-board tuition increases at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

Under the contracts:

l UI President Bruce Harreld’s contract now goes through 2023, with additional deferred compensation contributions of $400,000 annually between the 2020 and 2023 budget years. Because it’s an extension, Harreld won’t get an initial $1 million payout next year, but he’ll receive $2.33 million in 2023.

The board didn’t change his annual base salary of $590,000.

l Likewise, the board didn’t adjust base pay for Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen, who also received an extension through 2023. She became ISU’s first female president in October 2017 with a stepped five-year deal that increases her salary from $525,000 to $550,000 to $590,000. Wintersteen had received a deferred compensation package worth $475,000, and the board voted to extend and increase that with additional contributions of $200,000 annually between Nov. 1, 2020 and 2023. That means her payout will total more than $1 million.

l University of Northern Iowa President Mark Nook, hired in 2016 with a base annual salary of $357,110, received a contract extension through June 30, 2025, with an option to renew for two years through 2027. The deferred compensation plan for Nook, who was on track for a $200,000 payout in 2020, will increase $25,000 through June 30, 2020, and then $100,000 annually between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2025.

That means his payout will top $700,000.

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In addition to the university presidential increases, regents extended the contract of Executive Director Mark Braun through 2024.

Braun, appointed in fall 2017, was to receive a $150,000 deferred compensation payout in 2020 in addition to a complex compensation matrix the board approved to sidestep a state salary cap for the post of $154,300.

On Thursday, the board awarded Braun a $35,000 performance incentive and established a new one for next year worth $60,000. Regents also established a new deferred compensation plan to begin in July and end in 2021 with a $150,000 payout.

For Steve Gettel, superintendent of the board’s special schools, regents increased his salary by 2.1 percent to $196,828 annually. He was awarded a $20,000 performance incentive and offered a new one of $20,000 for next year.

In a statement provided after the board’s contract announcement, Harreld said he is “excited to continue the work we’ve started.”

He also said that he and his wife, Mary, “love it here.”

“We love the energy, the passion. And most of all, we love the students,” he said.

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