New salary incentives for president

UI President Bob Easter

Trustees approved a performance-measured incentive compensation plan for President Bob Easter. Photo: L. Brian Stauffer

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a performance-measured incentive compensation plan for President Bob Easter.

The board’s vote at its Sept. 12 meeting reflects a move away from retention incentives for senior administrators in higher education that tend to prioritize longevity rather than results, trustees said.

Easter will receive a $90,000 payment under the new compensation program, based on his work toward goals that include operational efficiency and cost containment; establishing recruiting and enrollment strategies; increasing student and vendor diversity; implementing strategies to increase private giving; and creating economic growth for the state and the region.

Under the new annual program, Easter was eligible to receive up to $100,000.

Chairman Christopher Kennedy said the new incentive program links compensation to progress toward specific goals.

“The program sets a tangible measure for performance and provides rewards based on achieving those goals,” Kennedy said. “Trustees are very pleased with President Easter’s work in his first year, and his contributions to our university and our state.”

The performance-based approach has been adopted for top executives at other public universities, including the University of Texas system and Purdue University.

In July, the board extended Easter’s original two-year term by a year, through June 30, 2015, but delayed a decision on pay while the Executive Committee developed the new compensation program.

Easter’s base salary increased from $450,000 to $462,375, effective Aug. 16, matching the average 2.75 percent merit-based increase under this year’s salary program.

With the increases, Easter’s total compensation still ranks in the bottom half among presidents of Big Ten universities, up from the bottom third.

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