SFA President Scott Gordon will return his proposed $85,000 raise previously included in the 2021-2022 fiscal year’s budget.
At a meeting on Monday, the Board of Regents unanimously approved Gordon’s decision to rollback his compensation to that of the previous fiscal year. This decision to return the raise follows the negative attention it received online. The negative attention was primarily inspired by the timing of the raise during the University's $19.2 million structural deficit.
SFA’s 2021-22 year budget entails that President Gordon would have received $450,000 this year in salary, as opposed to last year’s salary of $365,000.
“I want to emphasize that the Board of Regents discussed my contract in January and voted in April to extend an increased contract – more in line with peer institutions’ leaders – before the picture of serious budget challenges became clear this summer,” Gordon said in an email sent on Thursday regarding his increase in salary.
The institutions compared to make this decision were all centralized either in Texas or in the Western Athletic Conference, according to Graham Garner, chief marketing communications officer, said.
“They also looked at other [colleges and] universities in the state of Texas, recognizing that some are larger, some are smaller, some are different communities, just kind of looking at where those other institutions were and where SFA’s presidential compensation ranked,” Garner said.
The decision to increase Gordon’s salary was made when renewing his new three-year contract. Reviewing compensation while renewing a contract is common, according to Garner.
“They looked at a variety of information,” Garner said. “They looked at his performance, they looked at his compensation, they looked at compensation of presidents or chancellors at similar institutions or peer institutions, and based on that data that they had, they put together a proposal to extend a new contract to him which would be a new three-year contract.”
Board of Regents chair, Karen Gantt, sent out an email as well to faculty and staff, regarding the budget concerns.
“President Gordon, together with the Board of Regents, is committed to confronting these challenges and working creatively with you to convert them into opportunities that will not only preserve our university but also elevate SFA’s standing in our state and region,” Gantt said in the email sent on Aug. 19.
Garner said in the midst of the compensation concern regarding Gordon, no one had reached out to Gordon personally.
“One lesson that I think is important is if you have a concern about something, or a question about something, bring your concern or question to a person who can properly address it,” Garner said. “So, if you have a concern about President Gordon’s compensation, then take that to the Board who hired him and decide on his compensation.”
The excess $85,000 rolled back from Gordon’s compensation will not be allocated elsewhere, according to Garner. Gordon and the Board of Regents referred The Pine Log to Garner to speak on their behalf.