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Board approves next president’s contract

 Sabah Randhawa will officially take over for President Bruce Shepard on August 1. // Photo by Connor Jalbert
Sabah Randhawa will officially take over for President Bruce Shepard on August 1. // Photo by Connor Jalbert

Western’s future president, Sabah Randhawa, will receive an initial salary of $365,000 a year, according to a Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 10.

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The trustees, led by trustee Chase Franklin, were unanimous in finalizing Randhawa’s contract.

Randhawa’s salary will be an increase of $53,000 from retiring president Bruce Shepard’s salary of $312,000, but a decrease of $34,660 from Randhawa’s current salary of $399,660 as provost and executive vice president at Oregon State University.

To compare, University of Washington gives its president, Ana Marie Cauce, a salary of $910,000 a year, Washington State University’s incoming president Kirk Schulz will earn $625,000 a year when he takes office next year following the passing of Elson Floyd in June 2015 and Central Washington University’s president James Lawrence Gaudino earns $311,420. Compensation for university presidents continue to rise according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, with a 7 percent increase in wages seen from 2014 to 2015.

The meeting began at 3:30 p.m. with a 40 minute, private executive session in which trustees discussed the terms of the contract. At 4:15 p.m. the meeting was opened to the public, and the trustees passed the motion to approve the contract.

Trustee Franklin pointed out the majority of the language in the contract is identical to that in Shepard’s contract.

”I believe [the contract] is both fair and appropriate, given [Randhawa’s] experience, and expectations we have,” Franklin said.

Other benefits from the contract include:

  • An appointment as a tenured Professor of Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management in the College of Business and Economics. Randhawa will receive no salary from the position while serving as president. Following his term, he may assume the position for a salary equivalent to that of the university’s “highest paid full-time tenured teaching faculty member.”
  • A deferred compensation account. The university will annually pay somewhere between $20,000 and $35,000 to Randhawa that can only be cashed out at the end of his contract, or in the event of his death or termination by the university.
  • Health, dental, life and disability insurance.
  • Thirty paid vacation days a year.
  • A vehicle paid for by the university.  The university will pay all costs, including insurance and maintenance, but Randhawa will have to pay taxes on personal use of the car.
  • An official residence provided by the university.

Once the contract is signed by Randhawa and Board of Trustees chair Karen Lee, it will need to be approved by the Board of Trustees before going into effect.If the contract is signed and approved, Randhawa will start August 1 as Western’s 14th president.

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