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TALLAHASSEE (NSF) – University of Florida President Bernie Machen will spend his first half-decade out of office as a well-paid, privately funded adviser to the Gainesville school.
Machen, who will step down as president at the end of December after 11 years leading the university, has agreed to serve as a consultant for the next five years rather than return to the classroom as a tenured professor of dentistry.
The university’s Board of Trustees amended Machen’s post-presidency contract Friday, saying in a resolution that “the best value” he can provide the school is as a senior adviser.
The change will boost Machen’s post-presidency pay to $3.9 million over the next five years, $390,000 more than had been in the contract before it was amended.
The deal also moves his future pay from the public payroll to private donations, according to a school spokeswoman.
As president, Machen receives a base salary of at least $432,808 a year, along with $285,000 in annual performance bonuses.
Machen is being replaced by Cornell University Provost Kent Fuchs, who will have a base salary starting at $860,000 a year.
Under Machen’s amended contract, school officials note that taxpayers will save about $2.63 million as Machen relinquishes his lifetime salary as a tenured professor. In addition to his salary coming off the public payroll, the school will save by not having to pay for an office or secretary for Machen.
Machen will get $1.25 million for agreeing to give up his tenured post, which the school projects at 39 percent of the estimated sum of his tenured teaching contract.
In his new position, Machen will become a senior adviser for the school. He will also continue to be a fundraiser, helping to bring in money for faculty chairs and the Florida Opportunity Scholars Program, which Machen started with his wife.
The University of Florida program provides financial assistance to low-income students who are the first in their families to attend college. More than 3,200 students have received the scholarships, according to the school.
With Machen at the helm, UF has more than doubled its research funding, completed a $1.7 billion capital campaign and has been designated one of Florida’s two pre-eminent universities, which the Legislature created to provide schools with additional money to hire faculty and escalate research. Florida State University also has received the pre-eminence designation.
As part of his amended contract, Machen agreed to a non-compete provision, meaning he won’t provide advice to Association of American Universities institutions ranked the same or better than UF by U.S. News & World Report.
A resolution approved by the trustees noted that Machen’s “knowledge and experience would be highly valuable to other national research universities.”
The University of Florida was most recently ranked 48th among national universities, and 14th among public schools.
“The News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner contributed to this report.”
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