Penn State

Penn State President Rodney Erickson gets $85,000 pay increase

Penn State President Rodney Erickson has received a performance-based pay raise from the university, boosting his annual salary by $85,000.

The university’s board of trustees authorized a salary increase for Erickson from $515,000 to $600,000 per year, effective Nov. 1.

The raise was enacted on the one-year anniversary of Erickson being named president and is in line with the employment agreement between Erickson and the university, Penn State officials said in a release Wednesday.

“President Erickson has done a tremendous job leading our university through a difficult year — one of the most difficult in the history of Penn State,” said Karen Peetz, chairwoman of the board of trustees. “It is imperative that we have a strong, effective leader to ensure our future excellence. Rod Erickson is that leader.

His salary is in line with competitors and we are pleaded to support his presidency.”

Embattled former president Graham Spanier earned more than $3.2 million in taxable income last year, including nearly $2.5 million in a severance package that was triggered when he was fired after the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal broke. The amount also included his annual salary of $700,000.

According to the university, Erickson’s pay increase comes an annual performance review from the board based on factors such as leadership, management of financial resources, planning and resource development.

With his raise, Erickson’s base salary is at about the 50th percentile for presidents and chancellors of comparable research universities, according to a 2011 survey commissioned by Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh.

Erickson’s contract is based solely on salary and a typical benefits package, and does not include accommodations in university-owned housing or deferred compensation upon his retirement, the university said.

Erickson has said he plans to retire by June 2014.