Comparing the new presidents’ contracts

The new presidents of Boise State University and University of Idaho will earn more than their predecessors.

Marlene Tromp

Marlene Tromp, named Tuesday to head Boise State, has a three-year, $425,000-a-year contract. Bob Kustra made $411,000 in 2017-18, his final year as Boise State president. Martin Schimpf earned about $391,000 to lead the state’s largest university on an interim basis this year.

New University of Idaho President C. Scott Green also has a three-year contract, worth $420,000 annually.

C. Scott Green

Green will earn more than outgoing U of I President Chuck Staben, who is receiving $385,000 in the final year of his contract.

University presidents traditionally rank among the state’s highest paid employees. Schmipf is the third highest-paid employee in state government this year — surpassed only by Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin and Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice. (Coaches’ salaries come largely from donors, not state dollars.)

A few other wrinkles in the new presidents’ contracts, obtained by Idaho Education News Thursday:

A professor’s position: If Tromp retires or resigns as president, she will still have the option of staying at Boise State, as a paid tenured faculty member.

“The salary received for service as a tenured faculty member shall be equal to that of the highest paid full professor at the institution,” the contract reads.

Staben has exercised a similar option in his contract. He will return to the classroom as a biology professor in January, at a salary of about $160,000.

The State Board had planned to phase this wording out of presidents’ contracts, but learned that this would be a potential dealbreaker for candidates with an academic background.

“We came to find out that it was basically an industry standard,” board spokesman Mike Keckler said Thursday.

The language does not appear in Green’s contract, Keckler said, because Green has never worked as a professor. He returns to the U of I campus from Hogan Lovells, an international law firm, where he worked as global chief operating and financial officer.

A larger housing allowance. Tromp will receive a $60,000-a-year allowance. Kustra had received $26,000 a year.

The increase reflects rising prices in the Treasure Valley housing market, Keckler said.

Boise State does not have a president’s residence on or near campus. The U of I, Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College all have presidents’ residences.

The presidents are expected to use their homes for work-related entertainment, and they can be reimbursed for the cost of hosting guests. That money comes from the institutions’ public relations accounts.

Automobile allowance. Tromp and Green will receive a $9,200-a-year allowance. This is boilerplate language from previous contracts.

Vacation and sick leave. The presidents will get 24 days’ vacation and 12 sick days, also boilerplate language.

Country club memberships. This is one perk that has gone by the boards.

Kustra and Staben and their wives received country club memberships — and Staben actually received two memberships, one in North Idaho and a second in Boise.

Since then, the State Board has phased out this clause. Tromp and Green will receive no membership perks.



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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