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Erickson Sets Contract with Penn State, Expected to Step Down in 2014

on January 10, 2012 5:21 PM

UPDATED @ 5:21 p.m.: The performance-related pay increases that Rodney Erickson may receive as Penn State president are not specifically delineated in his contract, university spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz said Tuesday afternoon.

She said the contract does not identify the amounts to which those increases may add up. But they will -- or would -- be based on annual performance reviews that compare "his performance against goals and objectives," Mountz said.

In addition, Mountz said Erickson's contract term "gives (Penn State) two years to conduct a national search" for his successor.

It was not immediately clear when a national search may begin. Steve Garban, the university board chairman, could not be reached immediately Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm sure they (board members) are talking about it," Mountz said of a search. " ... They have a two-year window of opportunity here. I have confidence that they'll make the best use of that time."

Mountz also confirmed that Erickson is expected to leave the presidency by the end of his contract, which will expire in mid-2014.

Earlier coverage is posted below.

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UPDATED @ 4:45 p.m.: Erickson will step down from the Penn State presidency when his contract ends in 2014, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The newspaper has posted its coverage on this page. Earlier coverage is posted below.

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Earlier report, posted @ 1:46 p.m. Jan. 10:

Penn State President Rodney Erickson has signed an employment contract for the job that runs through June 30, 2014, university trustees announced Tuesday.

The announcement, made in a prepared statement on a university website, indicates that Erickson will be paid $515,000 a year as a base salary. He will have an opportunity for performance-related pay increases based on "an annual evaluation that is measured against set goals and objectives," the announcement reads.

Erickson also will have use of a university car and "standard employee benefits for university executives," it goes on.

The announcement does not specify, however, any amounts for possible performance-based increases.

Erickson, the 17th president at Penn State, has succeeded Graham B. Spanier at the trustees' request. Spanier's reported base salary was $700,000 as of 2011.

Spanier, who served 16 years as president, stepped down Nov. 9 amid emerging child-sexual-abuse claims against former assistant football Coach Jerry Sandusky and cover-up claims against two university leaders. They are Tim Curley, now on administrative leave as the Penn State athletic director, and Gary Schultz, a former senior vice president who has returned to retirement.

In a prepared statement Tuesday, Erickson, a former Penn State provost, said he's grateful for the support of the trustees. He will "continue to serve our students, faculty, staff and alumni to the best of my abilities," he said.

"Penn State is a great university, and I couldn't be more proud of our heritage and accomplishments in teaching, research and service to the public," Erickson added.

He was provost and executive vice president for 12 years at Penn State before assuming the presidency. Erickson also is a former Graduate School dean and a former vice president for research.

Penn State board Chairman Steve Garban, also speaking via a prepared statement, called Erickson "a proven leader with 34 years of experience" at the university.

"He brings extensive experience in every facet of higher education," Garban said. "The board is extremely pleased to have him as president of our university."

John Surma, the board vice chairman, said Erickson has an understanding of the Penn State community, Pennsylvania, the university's financial outlook and its challenges.

"His record of achievement is impeccable," Surma said in a statement.

A Ferguson Township resident, Erickson has no plans to move into Schreyer House, according to Penn State. Schreyer House, the university presidential residence, is located just north of University Park, off Park Avenue. It will still be used for university-related business and special events, Penn State reported.

StateCollege.com will post more information as it becomes available.

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