The president of the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley got his bonus for next year doubled just weeks before the school was put on probation for a year, putting its accreditation at risk.
In November, the UT Board of Regents approved a $102,000 bonus for UT – RGV president Guy Bailey for 2017, a big jump from his $54,000 bonus this year.
While most of the second-tier UT school presidents are paid around the national average of $431,000 for a public college president, Bailey’s $702,000 basic compensation package is 61 percent higher, and trails only the $800,000 paid UT – Austin president Greg Fenves, who declined a bonus and took a salary $250,000 lower than what was offered.
It also places Bailey somewhere in the top 10 percent nationwide, although his campus was one of only 10 colleges around the country to be placed on probation. While those other schools fell short of accreditation standards in a single area, UT – RGV had 10 substandard areas, which Inside Higher Ed termed “an unusually long list of shortcomings.”
Probation is the final step before a school has its accreditation stripped, which jeopardizes financial aid, student credits, student eligibility for graduate programs, and other troubles.
UT – RGV is in its first year of operation, after it was created from a merger of UT – Brownsville and UT – Pan American.
Bailey has said that the problems are connected to the complications involved in merging two universities.
“We know this was a complex process and one that had really not been done before,” he said. “Anytime you have something of that complexity and a number of agencies involved there’s always a possibility for misunderstandings and for issues.”
Bailey used to be the president of Texas Tech, which he successfully guided off probation.
UT – RGV won’t know more about the reasons for the probation until mid-January, when they receive details from the accreditation agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Contact Jon Cassidy at [email protected] or @jpcassidy000.