Penn State President, Executives Get Pay Bump

by Geoff Rushton

Penn State President Eric Barron’s base salary will remain among the highest in the nation for public university presidents after the school’s Board of Trustees approved a 2.25 percent merit increase based on an annual performance review.

The increase brings Barron’s annual salary, retroactive to July 1, to $818,004.

Barron and Ohio State President Michael Drake were tied for highest base salary among public leaders with $800,000 in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s most recent review of public executive compensation as of 2014-15, though Barron was 11th when total compensation evaluated. Drake received a raise in November 2015 to move his base pay to $816,000, although his total compensation was over $1 million.

Barron did not receive a raise in 2015, but did get a lump-sum bonus of $24,000. His pay increase this year was based on “an excellent performance,” in the past year according to the board’s Committee on Compensation.

He received a “360-degree evaluation… in which 100 people were asked to complete the assessment, taking into account the president’s goals and objectives and his performance in light of those established goals,” according to the university. “The 360 process is designed to provide the board with additional context and information from internal and external stakeholders.”

The Committee on Compensation also reported that pay increases were approved for other Penn State executives:

  • Provost and Executive Vice President Nicholas Jones’ salary was set at $530,592, an increase of $19,228.
  • Senior Vice President for Finance and Business David Gray’s salary was set at $490,440, an increase of $19,872.
  • Craig Hillemeier, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center dean and CEO and senior vice president for Health Affairs, had his annual salary set at $935,004, an increase of $84,996.
  • Athletic Director Sandy Barbour’s salary was set at $731,808, an increase of $10,012.

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