Lefton awarded full performance bonus for sixth consecutive year



Rex Santus

The Kent State Board of Trustees voted to award President Lester Lefton his full performance bonus for the sixth year in a row.

The full performance bonus includes a 25 percent bonus, $102,402, of his base salary, $409,608, as well as an additional $90,000 “longevity payment” if he remains employed at the university until July 1, 2012, said Emily Vincent, director of university media relations, by email.

For the evaluation of Lefton’s performance, the Board used a “professional firm that specializes in executive assessment to perform an outside assessment of the president’s performance” to accompany its own evaluation, said Board Chairman Jacqueline Woods.

“We talked to people who report to the president, we talked to students, we talked to faculty leaders, we talked to foundation members and we talked to community leaders,” Woods said about the decision.

April 9, a group of professors used a full-page Stater ad to address Lefton and express their dissatisfaction with the lengthy union negotiation process. Later that month, the professors’ union endorsed a petition for a vote of no confidence against Lefton.

Woods said she could not comment on how these issues affected the awarding of Lefton’s bonus. She said both of these circumstances were discussed, but the contract is not finalized, so it would be premature to comment on their impact.

The Board also approved the first two projects to be financed by the $170 million of bonds.

Lefton said the approved projects would focus on renovating “physically failing” buildings, including University Library, McGilvrey, Cartwright and Taylor Halls, and accessibility issues. The majority of the remainder of the bond projects will be sent to the Board for approval in September.

The Board also approved:

  • Revision of the minimum grade point averages for students graduating with institutional honors. Cum laude increased from 3.3 to 3.5, magna cum laude increased from 3.6 to 3.7 and summa cum laude increased from 3.8 to 3.9.
  • The establishment of academic departments in the College of Public Health.
  • The establishment of the Cuban Studies Institute.
  • The establishment of a business administration-professional major within the master of business administration degree.
  • The inactivation of the Soviet and East European Studies major within the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • A compensation adjustment for non-represented classified and unclassified employees.
  • The $616.5 million 2013 university budget.
  • A 3.2 percent tuition increase for the College of Podiatric Medicine.
  • An energy conservation project.
  • Multidisciplinary laboratory renovations.

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].