Robert Barchi, president of Rutgers University in New Jeresey, was awarded a $90,000 bonus this month, but he doesn't plan to keep a dime of it.
Barchi currently holds a $650,000 annual base salary, the Star-Ledger reports, and was told last week he's getting a bonus following a performance review with the Rutgers Board of Governors. But Barchi wrote back that he and his wife, Rutgers professor Francis Harper Barchi, don't plan to keep it.
"Given that we are currently in a year of fiscal restraint and that we are asking our faculty, students and staff to do more with less, Francis and I intend to gift the net proceeds of this incentive compensation to Rutgers," Barchi told the board. "It is our intention that this money be used to augment student aid for undergraduate students at our university."
Barchi is provided a maximum $97,500 bonus if he meets "specific goals," although his contract does not explain what those goals are.
A Rutgers spokesman told Inside Higher Ed that those goals include "successfully managing the nation’s largest integration of health sciences education into an existing research university, overseeing the entrance of Rutgers into the Big 10 and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, undertaking the first strategic planning initiative in more than a decade and having a banner fund-raising year."
During a time when tuition and student debt are reaching record levels, along with shrinking financial support from state legislatures, college presidential salaries and expenses have increasingly come under scrutiny.
While Barchi's true motivation for giving back part of his earnings is unclear, the Star-Ledger notes his is taking a page from his predecessor, Richard McCormick, who also donated back many of his bonuses.