Penn State President Barron receives contract extension for three more years

May 04, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s Board of Trustees today (May 4) voted to extend University President Eric J. Barron’s contract through June 30, 2022.  

The original contract for Barron, who was named Penn State’s 18th president in May 2014, was a five-year agreement set to expire in June 2019. Based on Barron’s successful performance and the desire to maintain continuity in leadership for both Penn State and its ongoing fundraising campaign, President Barron and the board agreed to the three-year extension.  

“Eric Barron has successfully advanced many of the goals and objectives established by the board, including tackling the issues of access and affordability, student success, and diversity and inclusion,” said Keith Masser, chairman of the board’s Committee on Compensation, which recommended the extended contract. “In addition, given that the University is nearing the end of year two of its fundraising campaign with 36 percent of the campaign elapsed and 41 percent of the goal reached, it is critical that we maintain leadership and momentum.” 

Barron is leading “A Greater Penn State for the 21st Century Excellence” campaign, which has a goal of raising $1.6 billion by 2022 and has so far raised nearly $660 million. In keeping with the University’s strategic goals, the campaign is focused on: having open doors for students financially; creating transformative educational experiences; and impacting the world by focusing on compelling issues. 

Barron’s efforts to promote access to and affordability of a Penn State degree continue. Among Penn State’s targeted initiatives in this vein are the Pathway to Success Summer Start Program, a work-study-scholarship program designed to increase student retention; the Student Transition Experiences (STEP) program, whose focus is keeping students on schedule as they transition to the University Park campus from a Commonwealth Campus; and the establishment of a Financial Literacy and Wellness Center. In addition, under the president’s direction, there have been ongoing, annual identification of millions in savings through various initiatives, including $21 million in cuts to recurring costs in the 2017-18 budget year alone. 

Over the past five years, in addition to the accomplishments cited by Masser, Barron also has focused on various long-term initiatives, including student engagement and career success, along with global engagement. The president also has invested time and resources into fostering economic development and job creation through his Invent Penn State initiative, which in just two-and-a-half years now includes 21 hubs for innovation spread across Pennsylvania. 

Under Barron’s presidency, Penn State has implemented its strategic plan for 2016-2020, which provides a vision for Penn State’s future and guide for achieving the University’s goal. University-wide strategic planning with long-term goals of transforming education, enhancing health, stewarding resources, advancing the arts and humanities, and driving digital innovation has taken on increased significance. Penn State has invested more than $2 million in its top strategic priorities, while simultaneously advancing the vital and transformative work of its faculty, staff and students across the University. 

Barron’s current annual salary of $834,364 remains in place, to be reviewed annually.  Barron’s original contract provided for a $1 million completion payment following five years of completed service. On June 30, 2018, $800,000 of that completion payment will be deemed to have been earned and will be paid to Barron. A second $800,000 completion payment will be earned if Barron remains in his position until the end of the extended term, June 30, 2022. As part of the contract extension, an annual $200,000 retention payment will continue to be paid at the end of each contract year through June 30, 2022. 

“President Barron has done an outstanding job of leading this great university and Penn State continues to make impressive strides under his direction,” said Mark Dambly, chair of the Board of Trustees. “He has been a force for positive change over the past four years and by extending his contract we ensure continued stability, academic quality and tremendous leadership.” 

The presidential performance assessment is one of the key responsibilities of Penn State’s Board of Trustees, and Barron has received annual as well as comprehensive reviews. Under the Compensation Committee Operating Guidelines, a vote of the full board is required for approval of changes in presidential compensation. 




Last Updated May 04, 2018