University president turns down pay raise—and gives up bonus to scholarship fund

Also won't take pay raise while staff salary stagnates

The president of Northern Kentucky University (NKU) announced last week he will forgo a pay raise and bonus—instead giving the money to a scholarship fund, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

President Geoffrey Mearns requested the school's Board of Regents donate his annual $25,000 bonus to the NKU foundation to support scholarships for first-generation college students.

It is the second straight year Mearns has declined the bonus. Mearns also declined a pay raise this year, citing a lack of performance raises for faculty and staff.

How much do presidents of public colleges earn?

In a letter, the Board of Regents praised Mearns for his leadership and work on several initiatives. "The Board was very pleased with the progress on the implementation of the strategic plan, the programming and design of the health innovation center, and the President's strong advocacy for an outcomes-based funding model," wrote Nathan Smith, chair of the board.

"As a board, we have great confidence in the president," Smith concluded (Tweh, Cincinnati Enquirer/Cincinnati.com, 7/23; River City News, 7/24).

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