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Barron’s Contract Extended Through 2022

on May 04, 2018 2:48 PM

Penn State’s Board of Trustees approved a three-year extension to university president Eric Barron’s contract at its public meeting Friday. Barron’s new contract will last through June 30, 2022.

Barron currently earns $834,364 and this salary will be reviewed annually. A $200,000 retention payment will be paid at the end of each contract year.

$800,000 of the $1 million completion payment that from Barron’s original 2014 contract will be deemed to have been earned on June 30, 2018 and will be made at that time. An additional $800,000 completion payment will be paid upon completion of extended term June 30, 2022.

Barron also holds a faculty appointment in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Department of Geosciences. If he returns to faculty when his contract expires, he’ll earn the base salary of the highest three tenured faculty in the department (currently more than $200,000).

Upon completion of his original five-year contract term in June 2019, Barron will earn the right to enter into a one-year consultancy period after the end of his presidency. His salary for that year would be equal to his salary as president in his final year at the post. This consultancy right will be forfeited if Barron steps down without at least six months prior notice or is terminated due to cause or death or disability.

Like many Board of Trustees decisions, the extension was not without controversy. Alumni Trustee Bill Oldsey criticized the process of developing the contract terms, which is delegated to the Committee on Compensation — the board’s smallest committee and the only committee that does not currently include alumni trustees in its membership.

“Understand, please, that my criticism is aimed completely at the process that we, as a board, have used, and my opinion, it’s a broad and secretive and narrowly focused process that this board seems intent to use in reaching such an important decision,” Oldsey said. “I am neither content nor comfortable using that kind of process to make decisions of this magnitude, and for these reasons, I will respectfully abstain from the vote today.”

The extension was ultimately approved, though many current alumni trustees chose to vote against it or abstain entirely.


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