Carefully scrutinize UF president candidates

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 30, 2003 at 10:08 p.m.

Last week, as I tossed my Gainesville Sun under the garage door before leaving for work, I caught a glimpse of ". . . new president's salary of $800,000 . . ."

As I drove to work, I thought how previous presidents had been underpaid for years and I resigned myself that it was time for their pay to be commensurate with corporate America.

It was not until later that I discovered this new presidential pay level of $800,000 was for the next president of the University of Florida and not the president of the United States.

As one of the overtaxed property owners of Alachua County, I was flabbergasted that a non-taxpaying entity such as the University of Florida would consider such a genuinely moronic idea.

Therefore, I found it especially noteworthy that the letter from Chuck Larsen (June 22) was printed on the same day and in the same section as the Personal Finance column written by Kathy Kristof, titled "Excessive pay for executives a warning sign."

Larsen, a UF student, intelligently points out that the last time higher pay was used as an incentive for a candidate search, we were "blessed" with Lawrence Marazza, whom we then had to pay to dismiss.

Kristof refers to "out of sync pay" in the corporate world and states that, "Cash pay to top executives shouldn't be rising when company performance is faltering. ... "

The university must be faltering when tuitions for all are increased, financial aid is cut, teacher salaries continue to be low and choices are made to cut the number of foreign students allowed to study here.

So, please, UF officials, apply some common sense to this situation and please advertise this position for the current salary.

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