Board OKs bonuses for AZ university presidents

Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 21:41:28-04

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved six-figure merit bonuses for Arizona State University President Michael Crow and University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart.

Board members voted Friday to give Crow up to $150,000 in performance incentives. That brings his total compensation and benefits to about $1 million for fiscal 2015.

Hart will get a $115,000 incentive for total compensation of nearly $754,000 is fiscal 2015.

Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng will be getting a $40,000 bonus on top of more than $520,000 in salary and benefits.

Cheng will be eligible for a six-figure bonus if she meets a series of goals in 2017.

Mark Killian, treasurer for the board said the universities' presidents are underpaid compared to other university presidents.

"These are dollars very well spent, very well paid. They are an investment in our system and for the people of Arizona. We want to keep these people," said Killian.

It's the third year presidents of Arizona's three state universities have been eligible for performance incentives as part of their contracts.

After the vote, board treasurer Mark Killian had a message for people who criticized the bonus amounts.

"Ya'll need to take a deep breath and relax and go find something else to worry about," said Killian.