Washington State University announced Monday a five-year contract extension for President Kirk Schulz. Because of the financial hardship the school has suffered at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Schulz opted to take a 10% pay cut, as well as foregoing a $50,000 retention bonus called for in his original WSU contract. The pay reduction is through June 30, 2021.
“In the interest of stability and continuity, it was important to the Board of Regents that we offer a five-year extension to the president’s contract,” Brett Blankenship, chair of the WSU Board of Regents, said. “Despite the many challenges facing Washington State University and higher education in general, WSU remains on a glide path to continued success.”
Schulz also is giving up access to a university-owned condominium in Seattle as well as university-provided vehicles, all of which were allotted to him under his original contract. The condominium was purchased prior to Schulz’s tenure at WSU for use during overnight trips to Puget Sound but now will be sold, with the proceeds to benefit the university’s operations going forward.
The contact was approved on Friday.
“Everyone within the university will have to share in the pain of the difficult financial situation brought on by COVID-19, but President Schulz has led the way with his voluntary reduction in salary and other contractual benefits,” Blankenship said.
“I am grateful and honored by the support the Board of Regents has extended to me during my time as President,” Schulz said. “WSU is fortunate to have such a strong board guiding the direction of our university. The Board of Regents are steadfastly focused on WSU’s land-grant mission. Together we are continuing to make a positive impact all across the state of Washington and around the world.”
Blankenship also praised Schulz for his enthusiasm and tenacity which became evident during a 360 degree review of his performance as president so far. The review cited improvements to the university’s finances, the realization of plans for health education in Spokane and Schulz’s public accessibility as chief accomplishments during his first four years in office.
“WSU is fortunate that there is such close alignment between the Board of Regents and President Schulz,” Blankenship said. “This is a steadying force for the institution and positions us well to address the challenges that COVID-19 has brought.”
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