The Board of Regents of Washington State University approved a new employment agreement with President V. Lane Rawlins May 7. The agreement will raise Rawlins’ base salary to $300,000 per year beginning June 1.
Rawlins currently earns a base salary of $254,065 per year. He became president of Washington State University in June 2000.
The agreement will also increase the money that the university will pay into the president’s deferred compensation plan from $50,000 to $110,000 annually, beginning in 2004-2005. Rawlins will also continue to receive $40,000 annually in a retention plan. All of the money for Rawlins’ compensation comes from university funds.
During the regents’ regularly scheduled meeting in Pullman, the board adjourned to executive session to discuss the president’s job performance. When they returned, the regents unanimously approved the salary recommendation.
“The regents appreciate the outstanding job that President Rawlins has done for this institution. His leadership is unsurpassed. We believe that his salary should rank with those of the presidents of our nation’s other outstanding research universities,” said William Marler, president of the Board of Regents.
Rawlins thanked the regents for the increase. “They are justifiably pleased with the progress that the university is making, and I share that satisfaction with them. However, I want the university community to know that I know that faculty and staff of the university deserve the credit for that performance. I am pleased to be part of the broad-based effort across the university and to witness the vision, creativity and hard work by the faculty and staff.”
“This increase gives me the opportunity to do things that are very important to me. I pledge to donate a major portion of it to student scholarships at WSU,” Rawlins said. Both Marler and Rawlins stressed their continued emphasis on seeking legislative funding for faculty and staff salary increases in the future.
The board last approved a new employment agreement for the president in June 2003. Rawlins has twice turned down salary increases. In approving the June 2003 agreement, the regents stated their intention to review his compensation plan in 2004 to make sure that it is competitive with those of presidents of comparable institutions.
A working committee of the board took an in-depth look at the compensation paid to presidents around the Pac-10 Conference and at WSU’s peer colleges and universities nationwide. The information that was gathered formed the basis of the salary recommendation.
Marler said that board members are very interested in retaining Rawlins as president and hope that he will remain on the job for many years. The employment agreement is not for a fixed term; the president serves at the will of the Board of Regents.
During Rawlins’ tenure, enrollment at WSU has grown; the academic quality of the incoming freshmen at the Pullman campus has set new standards of excellence. The university has worked with state legislators to develop a governing structure for the Vancouver and Tri-Cities campuses to give them more flexibility to meet the educational needs of their communities, while the Spokane campus has built closer research collaborations with WSU’s campus in Pullman.
The university also has moved forward on many key construction projects, including the first stages of a new biotechnology research complex in Pullman. This week the university held a groundbreaking ceremony for an addition to Cleveland Hall, home of the College of Education, and will soon break ground on the Spokane Academic Center.