Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New FSU president Barron's salary eclipses predecessor's

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State University's new president will have a larger salary than his predecessor, T.K. Wetherell, and stands to make even more in bonuses as a reward for big-time fundraising.

FSU trustees chairman Jim Smith confirmed Monday that Eric Barron has signed a contract that includes a base salary of $395,000 a year in state and private dollars — plus the chance to earn annual bonuses of $100,000 for every $100 million in private donations raised. He'll also get free housing and a car, Smith said, as well as a retention bonus of $200,000 after a few years.

Housing and car allowances have become standard fare for university president contracts, and in recent years Florida's university presidents have ranked near the top in the country for salary and compensation packages. But the bonus provision in Barron's five-year contract is a signal that the trustees want to see FSU's $447 million endowment grow by $1 billion over the next five years.

"We said $1 billion in five years, and we're serious about that," Smith said Monday. FSU's trustees gave him the authority to negotiate with Barron, 58, and sign a contract.

Barron, who most recently was director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, could not be reached for comment Monday. But he already has started living in the president's house. A 1973 FSU graduate, Barron becomes "president-designate" Friday and officially takes the reins from Wetherell in the next few weeks.

Smith said the potential for big bonuses should inspire Barron, but raising $100 million in a year is daunting even for the savviest of university fundraisers.

"I don't know that we've ever raised $100 million in a year here at FSU," Smith said. "So it's not easy. It's not guaranteed."

He and other search committee members selected Barron from among three finalists, in part, because of his success courting alumni and other donors during his years as a dean at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Texas in Austin.

"Raising money from individuals is not putting your hands in someone's pockets," Barron said last month during interviews on campus. "It is creating a relationship with someone and helping them create a relationship with this university."

Wetherell, president since 2003, had a base salary of $315,545. His contract included benefits such as club memberships, a car, an annual performance bonus of up to $75,000, and an additional $210,000 annual bonus for meeting three-year goals.

The highest-paid president among the state's 11 universities is Florida's Bernie Machen, whose contract gives him a base salary of more than $411,000 and total pay and benefits of about $730,000.

Shannon Colavecchio can be reached at or (850) 224-7263.

Fast facts

Barron's contract

Base salary, taxpayer-funded: $225,000.

Supplemental base salary, privately funded: $170,000.

Annual bonus: $100,000

for every $100 million raised.

Retention bonus:

$200,000 after year two.

Extras: Free housing (in the campus president's house) and car. Membership to the University Center Club.

Source: FSU trustees

New FSU president Barron's salary eclipses predecessor's 01/11/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 11, 2010 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash


    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle


    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators


    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.