Governor Rick Scott requested the Office of the Inspector General to review the compensation for Florida’s twenty-eight (28) State College Presidents. What the IG found in its Report #2013-12 is enlightening given the rising cost of higher education and growing student loan debt to pay for a college degree.
The IG report found:
- The total compensation reported for the twenty-eight (28) state college presidents in FY 2012-2013 ranged from $143,866 to $630,157 for a reported total of
$9,811,292 paid from state appropriated funds, student fees, auxiliary funds, direct support organizations’ funds, grants and other non-state college funds.
- State college presidents’ reported compensation included some or all of the following: salary, annuities, deferred compensation, vehicle provisions, housing allowances, major medical insurance premiums, leave, incentives, and other compensation/benefits including annual physical exams, cell phones, internet access, relocation expenses, and memberships/dues.
Some college presidents receive post-employment perquisites including but not limited to the transfer of ownership of the vehicle provided by the colleges to the president, computer equipment, one year sabbatical with full pay and benefits, or health insurance for life after employment with the college ends.
The IG reported, “One statute limiting the amount that can be paid for the presidents’ salaries from state appropriated funds. We also noted that each of the twenty-eight (28) state colleges reported compliance with this statute to the Division as required. However, we found that: 1) there were no standardized parameters for boards of trustees to use to determine the reasonableness of the total compensation for the state college presidents or the factors upon which the total compensation is based; and, 2) the forms and amounts of compensation varied across colleges.”
The IG noted, “Instances where the total value of the presidents’ compensation was not readily transparent in that many of the contract terms did not contain assigned values. Some contract terms contained benefits payable to the presidents for life or benefits not yet earned making it difficult to ascertain the full financial obligation on the colleges from these contracts.”
Concerning severance pay, the IG noted:
The twenty-eight (28) state college presidents’ contracts were reviewed for compliance with Section 215.425, F.S., and we noted that the contract language for severance pay varied across colleges. For example, some of the state colleges have presidential contracts that contain severance pay language if the president separates from the college “without cause”; some contracts address severance pay if the president separates from the college “for cause”; some contracts were silent about the conditions when severance pay was paid; and, some contracts, as written, were contrary to statute because the amount exceeded the limits outlined in statute.
Finally the IG found, “Only eight (8) of the twenty-eight (28) colleges tied the presidents’ contracts to performance.”
Sounds like Florida’s state college presidents are living like kings.