Our View: Warren deserved bonus, but process is flawed

Kent Stater Editors

The Kent State Board of Trustees voted to give President Beverly Warren a $75,000 performance bonus and 2 percent raise at its meeting Tuesday.

Warren was praised for her first year of service to the university, laid out in a strategic road map with five major priorities: students first, a distinctive Kent State, globally competitive, regional impact and organizational stewardship.

Warren, who makes $450,000 a year, said she will donate her $9,000 raise back to the university for student scholarships.

The bonus was the maximum allowed under her contract.

We do not have an issue with President Warren’s bonus; she is leading the school in a positive direction and has accomplished many of the goals she set at the beginning of her term.

We do take issue with the board’s methods of awarding her a bonus.

The trustees used the same process to award bonuses to former President Lester Lefton and should have stopped this act before Warren ever took office.

The decision to give the bonus is made through a secretive evaluation and an oral vote of the trustees reminiscent of the university’s secrecy during its presidential search.

During the process, the school shredded documents related to the search, required search committee members to sign confidentiality agreements and signed a contract addendum with its private search firm, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, giving the firm the power to decide what records would be released to the public.

We are tired of a public university refusing to be transparent about its actions.

The process should be changed to be more open so the university community knows how it chooses and evaluates its most important employee.

Again, we admire a lot about our new president and suspect our trustees feel the same way. But next year, how about letting those who pay the taxes and tuition be in on the discussion?