Board boosts president's pay

“The University of Akron’s President Luis Proenza was given a $30,000 raise last Wednesday by UA’s Board of Trustees in a 7 to 1 vote. On the same day the trustees also voted to raise Akron’s tuition for next semester by 3.5 percent for undergraduate and graduate students, the largest amount allowed by the state.”

The University of Akron’s President Luis Proenza was given a $30,000 raise last Wednesday by UA’s Board of Trustees in a 7 to 1 vote.

On the same day the trustees also voted to raise Akron’s tuition for next semester by 3.5 percent for undergraduate and graduate students, the largest amount allowed by the state.

Dr. Luis Proenza has been with the University of Akron for over 10 years, the longest out of any other state university president.

The raise bumps Proenza’s base salary up by 8.7 percent, from $354,495 to $385,000, and makes his salary rank sixth among the twelve Ohio four-year tax supported institution presidents.

Number one on that list is the Ohio State Universities’ President Gordon Gee who has a base salary of $800,000.

Along with the base salary Proenza receives performance bonuses, supplemental retirement pay, a University funded house and a leased car. His total salary for the 2007-2008 school year was $513,900 with the $354,495 base.

In 2009 Proenza requested to abstain from salary considerations by the Board of Trustees for a base salary increase due to economic challenges.

Judge Jane Bond, one of the voting Trustees, was the only member to vote against the raise, citing problems with return on investments and a reduction on anticipated funds from the state.

Newly appointed Board Trustee Nick York did not vote on the matter, stating he did not have enough time to study the issues.

The increase from the raised tuition is expected to be $26 million, assuming a 4 percent credit hours increase. From the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2009 the amount of credit hours taken at the University of Akron increased by 7.6 percent.

With plans for faculty raises, scholarships and utility expenses the school will face $27.8 million in new expenses in the upcoming semesters.

After adding in a loss on investments, loss of aid from the state, but a little help from deferred state income the university’s incoming revenue is only $25.5 million, forcing the school to make $2 to $3 million budget cuts elsewhere.