The president of the University of Alaska has been offered a $320,000 bonus if he stays on the job until 2016.
The board of regents last month voted to offer a contract extension to Pat Gamble that included the bonus, which is equal to one year of his salary.
Some faculty members called the bonus inappropriate with budget cuts and layoffs planned. The University of Alaska Fairbanks plans to lay off about 40 people to close a $12 million budget shortfall. Other campuses plan to leave open positions unfilled.
University system spokeswoman Kate Ripley told the Alaska Dispatch News Gamble’s pay package is modest compared to other university executives.
He also wouldn’t be the first to get a bonus. Ripley said former president Mark Hamilton received a $210,000 bonus.
The University of Alaska will cut tuition rates by more than $13,000 a year to students who have family ties to Alaska and want to study here.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the two-year pilot program will give in-state tuition rates to students with parents or grandparents in Alaska, no matter where the student lives.
The “Come Home to Alaska” program starts this fall, and is intended to counter a demographic dip in Alaska high school graduates, which translates to enrollment declines at UA campuses. For instance, there were about 10,200 students at Alaska Fairbanks last fall, the lowest enrollment in five years.
In-state tuition for students carrying a 30-credit academic year costs about $5,200 a year. Non-resident tuition for the same academic load is about $18,400 a year.