Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Compensation holds public meeting

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The newest committee of the Penn State Board of Trustees met today (Jan. 16) in open session to discuss operating protocols and the various aspects of executive compensation that will now fall under its direction.

The five-member Committee on Compensation, led by Trustee Linda Strumpf, discussed guidelines, duties, authority and responsibilities of the group. The committee, formally established by changes to the University bylaws adopted in November 2013, was formed as part of ongoing efforts by the board to follow best practices in university governance. The creation of this committee brings the number of standing committees of the board to seven.

Broadly, the committee will work to ensure that Penn State remains competitive among its peers in the recruitment and retention of top executive leadership, through the establishment of an executive compensation strategy. Part of this strategy involves not only providing a clear direction for attracting and retaining leadership, but also performance measurement and comparisons of compensation among a structured peer group. In determining its peer institutions, Penn State considered compensation data from select large, nationally ranked, public and private research institutions across the U.S.

“Attracting and retaining top executive talent at Penn State is a must in the constantly evolving, intensely competitive higher education landscape,” said Strumpf. “This committee will provide enhanced support for a critical function at the University, ensuring that Penn State’s executive compensation packages and strategies put the institution in a position of strength.”

The executive compensation strategy covers five tiers of executive positions, however, the committee is only charged with approving the compensation packages of a small group of executives.

Under its operating guidelines, the committee’s responsibilities vary depending upon an executive’s place within this five-tier structure:

  • For the top tier, occupied by the University president only, the committee will make compensation-related recommendations to the full board for final approval.
  • For executives in tiers II (senior executive officers) and IIA (prominent athletics positions), the committee will have final approval of compensation and changes in compensation strategy, while keeping the full board informed of its actions. The positions in these tiers include: executive vice president and provost; senior vice president for finance and business; senior vice president for health affairs and CEO and dean of the College of Medicine; senior vice president for development and alumni relations; vice president and general counsel; athletic director; men's football coach; men’s basketball coach; and women's basketball coach.
  • The committee will be kept informed by the University president as appropriate regarding compensation or changes in compensation strategy for executives in tiers III (vice presidents) and IV (other academic and administrative executives).

As noted above, under its operating guidelines, the committee will need to take official action to approve compensation for executives in tiers II and IIA. All official action must be taken in public session.

The committee’s membership, as established by the board’s bylaws, includes Paul Silvis, board vice chairman; Karen Peetz, immediate past board chairman; Mark Dambly, chair of the Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning; Kathleen Casey, chair of the board’s Subcommittee on Human Resources; and Strumpf, who is the committee’s at-large member. Board Chairman Keith Masser serves ex officio on all board committees and subcommittees.

The committee will meet regularly and on an as-needed basis to consider matters within its purview.

For more information about the Committee on Compensation, visit the FAQs.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated January 16, 2014