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HomeEducation NewsBen Sasse hit the jackpot along with his College of Florida contract

Ben Sasse hit the jackpot along with his College of Florida contract


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Judith Wilde is a analysis professor within the Schar Faculty of Coverage and Authorities at George Mason College. James Finkelstein is a professor emeritus of public coverage at George Mason College.

Judith Wilde, research professor, Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University

Judith Wilde

Permission granted by Judith Wilde


Ryan Patrick of Oswego, New York, and Ben Sasse, the soon-to-be-former United States senator, could also be shocked to be taught they’ve one thing in frequent. Patrick just lately discovered he received $10 million within the Colossal Money scratch-off lottery sport and Ben Sasse simply signed a extremely uncommon contract to develop into the following president of the College of Florida.

James Finkelstein, professor emeritus in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University

James Finkelstein

Permission granted by Judith Wilde


During the last decade, we’ve got collected and analyzed the contracts of greater than 300 college presidents. The contract for president-designee Sasse, with a possible worth of practically $10 million throughout his five-year time period, is the richest we’ve got seen. Now we have fastidiously reviewed the contract. Listed here are the small print.

Sasse’s base wage begins at $1 million. Assuming he receives the utmost annual increase for which he’s eligible (4% per yr), his whole base wage will probably be simply greater than $5.4 million over 5 years. Finishing the five-year time period will add a deferred compensation retention bonus of $1 million. 

He will probably be eligible for efficiency bonuses annually. If he receives the utmost bonus annually, that is a little more than $812,000. Over the time period of the contract, he additionally will obtain further contributions to a retirement account of about one other $800,000. The worth of his normal fringe advantages provides no less than one other $1.7 million. 

This $9.7 million doesn’t embody the worth of different advantages for which Sasse is eligible — a time period life insurance coverage coverage with an preliminary worth of $3 million that will probably be elevated yearly based mostly on his wage; a supplemental incapacity insurance coverage coverage that might assure Sasse no less than 60% of his annual wage plus his accrued retention bonus; transition bills associated to transferring his households from each Nebraska and Washington, D.C., to Florida; and reimbursement of the authorized charges for negotiating his contract. 

He additionally will dwell rent-free within the Dasburg President’s Home, together with housekeeping providers, apparently for the non-public residence in addition to the general public portion of the home. The college additionally will present him with a cellular phone and a month-to-month service allowance.

There are three uncommon perks that we’ve got by no means seen in a public college president’s contract. Whereas some presidential contracts present for tuition waivers for a partner and kids, Sasse’s contract additionally consists of these waivers for his mother and father and his grandchildren. As well as, many presidential contracts present for spousal/companion journey when that is deemed useful to the college. Sasse’s contract consists of this profit for his partner and for his or her three youngsters. Lastly, the college has agreed to pay for the household’s medical insurance for a few month, ought to he lose the present protection earlier than the college coverage takes impact.

Lastly, some of the uncommon options of his contract is the phrases for a post-presidential school appointment. In these states the place such appointments are permitted, the particular phrases are at all times specified throughout the preliminary contract. These usually embody a transition sabbatical at full presidential pay, a predetermined wage and virtually at all times tenure (assuming the president holds a terminal diploma). None of those phrases are in Sasse’s contract. Somewhat, he’s assured an appointment as a full-time school member “in an applicable rank and tutorial division with the particular association for his post-presidency school appointment, project and wage being topic to the approval of the Board Chair.” 

This language provides the chair of the governing board broad latitude in figuring out Sasse’s post-presidential wage and project. In concept, he may determine that Sasse will proceed to be paid his presidential wage or one thing considerably much less; grant him tenure or give him a time period contract; or require that Sasse educate three programs per time period or none in any respect. 

Whereas Sasse has his doctorate in historical past, in response to the contract, the board chair may assign him to any division within the college. As we stated, we’ve got by no means come throughout a contract with the phrases of a post-presidential appointment so open-ended or with the board chair having what is actually sole authority to dictate the phrases. 

In truth, this contract provides the board chair sole authority over many issues, together with the president’s annual efficiency bonus; annual efficiency objectives (set at the side of Sasse); figuring out whether or not a doable resignation was submitted to keep away from being terminated for trigger; waiving the required interval of discover for resignation; and approving Sasse’s exterior actions, together with these for which Sasse could also be paid. In every of those instances, the board chair isn’t required to hunt approval of the complete board, solely to inform them of the motion he has taken.

Just like the lottery winner, Ryan Patrick, our view is that Ben Sasse can be a giant winner. Patrick’s odds of successful the Colossal Money jackpot have been 1 in 3.96 million. If the College of Florida’s public reporting of the applicant pool is appropriate, Sasse was 1 of 739 candidates. 

So perhaps as an alternative of being obsessive about taking part in lottery video games, of us ought to take into account making use of for public college presidents’ jobs in Florida. The percentages of “successful” appear a lot better.


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