The Penn State Board of Trustees on Friday approved a contract extension for President Eric Barron.
His contract has been extended through June 30, 2022. Barron has been Penn State's president since May 2014, with his original five-year contract set to expire next year.
Barron is leading "A Greater Penn State for the 21st Century Excellence" campaign, which has a goal of raising $1.6 billion by 2022 and has so far raised almost $660 million, according to the university.
"President Barron has done an outstanding job of leading this great university and Penn State continues to make impressive strides under his direction," Mark Dambly, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said in a university press release. "He has been a force for positive change over the past four years and by extending his contract we ensure continued stability, academic quality and tremendous leadership."
Barron's current salary is $834,364, and his salary will be reviewed annually and considered for increase, said Keith Masser, trustee and chairman of the compensation committee, which recommended the extended contract.
A $200,000 retention payment will be paid at the end of each contract year (June 30), he said. Additionally, $800,000 of the $1 million completion payment that was contained in his original 2014 contract will be deemed to have been earned June 30 of this year.
A $800,000 completion payment will be paid once he reaches the end of his extended term on June 30, 2022, he said.
Several trustees expressed their disappointment on the process that resulted in the decision to extend Barron's contract.
"We're faced with making the most important decision that the board can make, and in my estimation and my estimation only, we're making it based almost exclusively on the work, input and recommendations of a five-person committee that worked not inclusively or openly or collaboratively, instead privately behind a committee curtain away from the board at large. In my estimation, that's the antithesis of good and transparent governance," said William Oldsey, an alumni-elected trustee.
He said his criticism has "absolutely nothing" to do with Barron or his performance, saying his criticism is aimed solely at the process and that he'll continue to be supportive of Barron.
Ultimately, 30 trustees voted in favor, two voted against (Ted Brown and Jay Paterno) and three abstained (Anthony Lubrano, Oldsey and Alice Pope). The five trustees who either voted no or abstained are all alumni-elected trustees.