The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 22, 2013

MnSCU eliminates bonuses for executives

$548,000 awarded in 2012


Minnesota Public Radio

ST. PAUL — Trustees at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system have eliminated the executive bonuses that have upset unions and lawmakers in past years.

Trustees approved the elimination of the performance-based payments this week as part of a compensation plan for administrators.

The elimination affects the chancellor, vice chancellors and presidents of the system's colleges and universities -- about three dozen people in all. It will apply to all future contracts.

Both of the proposed House and Senate higher education bills would prohibit such payments.

Trustee Phil Krinkie called the move proactive but said such incentives are common in business.

"Chancellor [Steven] Rosenstone saw this as a point of contention with legislators and the public," he said, "and therefore set out to change the administrative compensation package."

Krinkie added: "I think this is a good step forward. Obviously as a private-sector employer, I'm a little bit taken back by why the legislators and the public would be unhappy with the way the performance-pay system worked. But I think the chancellor has done a good job."

MnSCU awarded a total of $548,000 in bonuses in 2012. The average payment was about $15,000.

A MnSCU spokesman said lawmakers must still approve the board's decision.