PELTO: "No, it' called "an incentive retention payment," not a bonus - there is a big difference"

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Well, it now looks like we can addThe University of Connecticut to the list of public entities handing out bonuses this year, or in UConn's case, at least one bonus...to their President, Susan Herbst.

Of course, we need to recognize that in "UConn Speak," the appropriate term is not a bonus, but an "incentive retention" payment.

In addition to her $500,000 annual salary, $19,230.77 for each of the 26 pay periods, UConn President Susan Herbst's contract provide for an $38,000 in funds that she can invest toward her retirement.  These checks come in installments of $9,500, four times a year.

In addition to the car and driver UConn's President is provided, her contract also requires that the University of Connecticut Foundation  lease her a car of her own and cover all of the costs associated with insurance, repair and maintenance.  However, should she chose not to have a new leased automobile each year, she can have an annual stipend of $15,000 (paid for through the University, but with Foundation Funds.)  President Herbst has opted for the cash and, therefore received an extra payment of $15,000 on 8/23/12.

Finally, her contract reads, "The Board agrees to provide a retention incentive to the President of $125,000, upon completion of five years of service..."  However, the contract goes on to explain that the President may take an extra $20,000 in deferred compensation each year, but if she does, that amount will be reduced from the $125,000 she would otherwise get at the end of five years.

In these difficult times, cash in hand is always a good thing, so on April 17, 2012, President Herbst received took an extra payment of $20,000,  on top of her regular $9,500 payment toward her retirement investments.

Also, unlike the situation with the Board of Regents, of course, the bonus system that President Herbst is benefiting from was approved by UConn's Board of Trustees.

At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that the UConn Board of Trustees asked the president to forgo her bonus, (ah, I mean retention incentive), this year, nor did she offer to give up her bonus, as a way to help address the record cuts implemented by Governor Malloy over the last two years.

What also makes this situation interesting is that while Governor Malloy may want to claim that these decisions are made by others and he has no role in them, in the case of the University of Connecticut, he is, by state law, the President of the UConn Board of Trustees and appoints a staff member to attend all meetings.  In addition, as was the case with the board of Regents, Governor Malloy has appointed a significant majority of the members of the Board of Trustees.

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