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USF President Rhea Law gets $300K bonus as trustees cite ‘banner year’

A panel of trustees recommended she receive the full amount her contract allows.
 
Rhea Law, left, began 2023 with her inauguration as the University of South Florida's eighth president, a moment captured in this Jan. 19 photo. She ends the year with a $300,000 performance bonus awarded Tuesday by the university's board of trustees.
Rhea Law, left, began 2023 with her inauguration as the University of South Florida's eighth president, a moment captured in this Jan. 19 photo. She ends the year with a $300,000 performance bonus awarded Tuesday by the university's board of trustees. [ ANGELICA EDWARDS | Times ]
Published Dec. 5, 2023

University of South Florida President Rhea Law will receive a $300,000 bonus after the school’s board of trustees gave her high marks for leadership over the past year.

Law, who stepped into the permanent job in March 2022, earns a base salary of $655,000 a year. Her contract allows her to earn up to $300,000 in performance bonuses each year, with 70 percent of that amount to be determined by a board of trustees committee and 30 percent at the discretion of the board’s chairperson.

At a trustees meeting Tuesday, chairperson Will Weatherford, who initially tapped Law to serve as interim president, pointed to a “banner year” on her watch. He noted that USF received a coveted invitation to join the Association of American Universities, reached new heights in fundraising and earned national recognition for its workplace environment.

The board committee evaluated Law on six categories with the titles: “Academic Excellence and Student Success;” “Great Place to Work;” “In Pursuit of Excellence;” “Research;” “Budget Model;” and “Legislative Support, Fundraising and Commercialization.”

In a detailed spreadsheet, the members pointed to accomplishments ranging from an increase in USF’s state funds to improved “synergies” between parts of the university.

“I think our president has led us well,” Weatherford said. “It’s frankly a joy to be able to afford her 100% of her bonus.”