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USF Trustees Approve Genshaft's Contract Extension, Raise

USF University Communications & Marketing
USF System President Judy Genshaft greets students on the first day of class in August 2015.

The longest serving president in the history of the University of South Florida will remain on board for at least one more year.

The USF Board of Trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for Judy Genshaft at their meeting on Thursday.

The group also approved a five percent base pay raise for Genshaft, who will receive an annual salary of $493,500.

After the meeting, Genshaft said she'd have liked a longer-term deal. It's just that the Board of Governors that oversees Florida's public universities won't allow it.

"I would have signed a five-year contract if that would have been the option, but for all university presidents in the State University System, it's now one-year contracts," Genshaft said.

Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News
WUSF 89.7 News
The USF Board of Trustees discusses Judy Genshaft's contract Thursday at the Marshall Student Center on the Tampa campus.

Genshaft, who turned 68 in January, has been USF's president since 2000. She said she has no plans to step down anytime soon.

"USF is in my DNA," Genshaft said with a laugh. "I have a lot of energy, I love USF and you're never going to see me coast."

The latter part of her statement was in response to comments from Trustee Brian Shinn, who praised Genshaft's efforts during the Board's discussion of the contract.

"We are visionary, that doesn't happen by accident," Shinn said. "You have to have a leader that allows that creativity... (Genshaft) is not complacent, she's not coasting, she's not in the twilight of her path here, and we only see great things ahead of us."

Genshaft's three previous contracts with USF were for five years each, with the most recent one containing no annual pay raises. That meant she received $470,000 a year from 2012 to 2015.

Under the new deal, Genshaft could receive a performance bonus of up to $275,000 - an increase of $100,000 from the current contract.

Trustee Chairman Hal Mullis appreciates Genshaft putting a third of her potential earnings on the line.

"We are very fortunate to have her, we are very fortunate that she has the confidence to permit so much of her compensation to be at risk to her performance, so we're just very grateful," he said.

Genshaft received the full $175,000 bonus allowance in December 2015.

The new contract removed a retention stipend of $100,000 per year that was in her previous deal. However, under the new contract, the USF Foundation could increase its contribution to a deferred compensation annuity from 12 percent of Genshaft's base salary ($56,400) to as much as 20 percent ($98,700).

$200,000 of her salary comes from state funds, the rest from private revenue, including the USF Foundation.

While Trustee Scott Hopes had no issues with Genshaft's tenure, he took issue with the manner of the negotiations.

He said that while the Board has known for years that the current deal was going to expire in June, the Compensation Committee only met last week to discuss the new contract - and the non-committee members of the board weren't told about the nature of that meeting.

"It's my hope and expectation moving forward...that when we sit down to discuss (Genshaft's next contract) that we'll get a head start on it (and) we will broaden the participation," Hopes said.

Genshaft's new one-year deal goes into effect July 1 and runs through June 30, 2017. The Board of Governors has given preliminary approval to the deal.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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