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President Barron To Enter One-Year Consultant Gig Following Retirement

Penn State’s Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday to support a resolution that further solidifies the future of President Eric Barron as he nears retirement.

Recommended by the board’s Subcommittee on Compensation, Barron will continue receiving compensation through the end of his contract on June 30. Following his last day in office on May 8, Barron will remain active within Penn State’s administration as a consultant while President-elect Neeli Bendapudi takes over starting on Monday, May 9.

By electing to enter a one-year consultancy period, Barron will continue earning his current base salary of $876,612. His term as a consultant will stretch from July 1 to June 30, 2022.

According to committee chair Kathy Casey, Barron will begin relocating from Schreyer House, his university-provided home up near the Arboretum, around his final days in office. Penn State will help cover “reasonable moving expenses” throughout that process.

Additionally, Barron will receive a few more paychecks from Penn State, including a $200,000 retention bonus. He’ll also earn an $800,000 completion payment before his final day in office.

The Board of Trustees widely supported the terms surrounding Barron’s future following his retirement. Only Trustee Anthony Lubrano abstained from Tuesday’s vote.

In September, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to give Barron a 2.5% raise that would carry through the end of his term. The move added about $21,000 to his salary compared to the previous academic year.

In 2020, Barron made nearly $1.15 million, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. He was the seventh-highest-paid university president that year.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved Bendapudi’s hiring at a special meeting on December 9. She will serve as both the first woman and person of color to hold the university’s highest office.

Bendapudi’s preliminary contract will run through June 30, 2027. She’ll pull in an annual $950,000 salary, receive annual supplemental compensation contributions of $350,000, and potentially earn a $1.25 million payout if she remains in the role at the end of her current term. Additionally, Bendapudi will receive two $100,000 transition payments and is eligible to receive tenure at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.

Bendapudi, who previously served as Louisville’s president, will take time to officially move from Kentucky to State College this spring. She’s currently touring Pennsylvania to visit Penn State campuses and meet with representatives across the commonwealth.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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