The new College of Florida President Richard Corcoran will receive an annual salary and perks package of at least $1.3 million over a five-year period from Feb. 22, 2023, to Feb. 21, 2028 — ranging from housing and car allowances to “annual performance and incentives.” Everything up to $200,00 compensation.”Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Despite public comments against the move, the board of trustees of the public liberal arts university approved the package during a Friday morning meeting. The board elected Corcoran as chair earlier this month.
The former Republican House Speaker and Florida Education Commissioner had been the school’s interim president since the beginning of the year following a controversial restructuring of the board and school by Governor Ron DeSantis.
According to the contract, Corcoran’s base salary of $699,000 will remain unchanged. But he will receive other additional allowances, including:
- $84,000 housing allowance
- $12,000 car allowance
- Annual performance incentives up to $200,000
- $104,850 in deferred compensation
- $200,000 each year he remains president until 2026 – an accrued retention payment – plus an additional $100,000 for two more years.
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Additionally, New College will cover Corcoran’s traveling expenses up to $18,000. About his travel expenses related to his role as President? There was no specific dollar amount listed for this in the contract.
Even as interim president, Corcoran’s salary skyrocketed. His basic salary was more than double that of the previous president. When he was interim president, he also received the same amount for housing and his car, and the board awarded him $104,850 as a retirement supplement.
Trustee Matthew Spalding said, “This doesn’t strike me as a radical departure and an excuse to raise salaries, but it strikes me as a very reasonable package.”
Spalding also defended the additional bonuses: “We’re encouraging someone to go out and do great things for the college, including raising a lot of money for the college, which is what the bonus is for. The bonus keeps him here longer. “We’re investing in that because we’re investing in the college.”
Annual performance incentives will be awarded based on Corcoran’s achievements of the goals listed on the contract. Some goals include increasing enrollment to 1,200 by the end of five years and enriching academic programs and offerings. Professor trustee Amy Reid criticized the vagueness of the goals. She was one of two trustees who rejected the contract.
“I would be uncomfortable signing a contract where the criteria on which I will be evaluated for my work are so vague. So, I think it would be beneficial for this board to set a very clear date in which there will be a committee that will put forth some specific things to evaluate the president for this coming year,” Reed said during the meeting. “Right now, I believe his bonus is due in February of this upcoming year. That doesn’t give us a lot of time, and it doesn’t give them any time to show any improvement on retention because we want recruitment to take a full year. I think it would be in President Corcoran’s interest to have some clarity on this before the contract is finalized.
After the end of his term, Corcoran would have to teach at New College, which Reed raised as another point of contention. Reed opposed a faculty appointment for Corcoran. However, he said he would be satisfied if the trustees removed that requirement from the contract.
Ultimately, the board approved the contract without any amendments, but student trustee Grace Keenan questioned why they received the contract only 23 hours before the meeting, noting that people attending the meeting could only comment if When they signed up two days ago.
Elizabeth Albies, a member of the public, condemned the delay in publishing the contract.
“The point is that the contract was posted late, which will not prevent me from commenting. No one expects board members to actually review the contract before voting on it at this point,” she said. “The proposed limit of up to $1.3 million to run a small liberal arts college is nothing short of shocking. The flagrant misuse of taxpayers’ money is absurd. “Each board member voting yes automatically participates in the process.”