UT-Pan American President Pledges to Give Bonuses Away

Thursday, August 30, 2012

University of Texas-Pan American President Robert Nelsen won’t be participating in the University of Texas System’s new incentive pay plan — at least, he won't directly benefit from the plan.

Nelsen, who assumed the presidency in 2010, told The Texas Tribune that he has made up his mind to take any bonus he earns under the new system and give it to his university in Edinburg. “There’s no question that if I do earn a bonus, it will go the university, because the entire university will have helped earn that bonus, not me personally,” he said.

The UT System Board of Regents approved a new incentive plan for its university presidents and system executive officers at its August meeting, under which a bonus of up to 10 percent of their compensation at the end of the next fiscal year could be contingent on meeting certain benchmarks.

The specific goals for presidents haven't been determined, but they will be specifically tailored to each individual university. They will probably be guided by the goals of UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa's "Framework for Advancing Excellence," a policy outline he unveiled in 2011 that calls for improving graduation rates, increasing philanthropic gifts to the universities expanding the use of technology and boosting research activities. The framework, which was widely lauded when it first came out, also called for incentive pay for executives.

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