Rosenberg signs five-year contract to lead university

FIU’s fifth president begins his tenure Aug. 3, 2009.

By Karen Cochrane

Saying that the contract was eminently fair and reflective of the current challenges the university is facing, FIU president-designate Mark Rosenberg entered into a five-year contract to lead the university at an annual base salary at $475,000. The sum is less than what the university was prepared to pay for this position.

“I am very pleased with this salary,” said Rosenberg via email. The president-designate was traveling and unable attend the BOT meeting. “My objective is for our team to exceed expectations whatever I am paid.”

Earlier this year, the BOT Presidential Search Committee commissioned a comprehensive compensation study done by Ray Cotton of ML Strategies, who is considered a national expert in the field. The study found that a total compensation package of $680,000 annually was the median among public benchmark universities. After adjusting for market standards, culture and financial limitations, the committee and FIU Foundation went into negotiations with FIU’s fifth president willing to offer between $582,000 and $680,000 annually, including base salary, deferred compensation, retirement contributions and housing at FIU’s Ronald ReaganHouse. (The FIU Foundation pays approximately two-thirds of the president’s compensation.)

The university offered Rosenberg a “multi-year achievement incentive” that would have made him eligible to receive a payment of up to $75,000 and an additional payment of $100,000 if he met pre-established three- and five-year achievement goals, but the clause was eliminated at the president-designate’s request. Rosenberg left the door open for “possible future reinstatement” – but only as a team incentive.

Additionally, the university had been willing to offer up to $500,000 as an annual base salary. Rosenberg requested $475,000 and pledged an annual contribution to the university of $25,000 a year for the next two years.

Said Rosenberg, “I am ready to hit the ground running and have been even more motivated by all the community and university support I have received.”