Pat Gamble’s retention bonus rescinded

A retention bonus of $320,000 intended for University of Alaska President Pat Gamble was rescinded Sept. 8 through a Board of Regents vote in Fairbanks, Alaska.

In a closed meeting, the Board of Regents voted 9-1 to rescind the retention bonus.

“Before taking a vote, they individually voiced support for UA President Pat Gamble,” the university stated in a press release. “But many agreed with him that the incentive’s timing was unfortunate in light of current and expected budgetary constraints and could hurt his effectiveness.”

This comes after the Board of Regents gave Gamble a contract extension in June, which included a $320,000 bonus if he stayed until 2016. Some community members expressed outrage regarding the announcement.

In response to this, Gamble said in a press release that while the Board offered the bonus with good intentions, it was difficult to justify to the public.

“It comes at a time when higher education nationally is undergoing rapid change, as students and parents expect greater results, more efficiency and more accountability from public colleges and universities,” he said. “The retention incentive has become a negative distraction at a time when there is a great need for all levels of the university community to pull together.”

This led to a closed-doors meeting in Fairbanks where the bonus was ultimately rescinded.

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“I’d like to put this issue to rest, and for myself, my administration, all of our campus leaders and the regents to focus on the tough tasks ahead, moving the University of Alaska into a stronger, more efficient and highly effective student-centered institution that is worthy of the highest expectations of Alaskans,” Gamble said.