You are the owner of this article.

Was NU president's bonus necessary?

When it comes to paying administrators and coaches at major universities, it doesn’t seem like money is a concern.

It should be. Full-time students at these schools have to pay hundreds of dollars more in tuition almost every year because of tuition increases. And the media is filled with stories about graduates who seemingly will never be able to pay off their student loans.

One of the latest actions to raise eyebrows came last month from the NU Board of Regents, who gave its outgoing president, Hank Bounds, $300,000 in privately funded deferred compensation he didn’t qualify for. They also voted to bestow “president emeritus” status on Bounds.

Bounds, who announced in March that he would resign, will leave in mid-August. He will next teach grad students at the University of South Alabama.

He reportedly was entitled to a portion of the $300,000 in deferred payouts after five years of work as the NU system’s president. His total time on the job was four years and four months, but the regents decided that he deserved all of the deferred compensation anyway.

That doesn’t seem right.

It’s not like Bounds should have been living pay check to pay check.

Bounds received a salary of $510,400, plus a $20,000 supplement from the NU Foundation, and a vehicle allowance of $9,600 that he received in cash. That totals $540,000. The bonus came at the same time the regents approved tuition increases ranging from 2.5 percent to 3 percent for the next school year.

Sure, the bonus came from private funds and not taxpayer dollars. The same is true for the millions of guaranteed funds that the University of Nebraska is paying former coaches who have quit or been fired.

It has to be disheartening for students who are often working more than one job and taking out increasingly large loans to pay for college to hear of such actions.

It would be encouraging once if one of these administrators or coaches would instead donate the funds for scholarships to help reduce tuition.

While $300,000 might not seem like all that much among college leaders, if it was split among 1,000 of the most needy students, it would provide $300 less in tuition for each student to cough up next year.

If the regents wanted to show their appreciation for his efforts, the emeritus status would have been sufficient. Instead they contributed to the seemingly endless push in salaries and compensation that universities and colleges are known for every year.

In other news

Community is the driving force behind Norfolk’s upcoming ’Fork Fest. Spearheaded by the Norfolk Arts Center, ’Fork Fest brings together area artists, musicians and restaurants for an event that celebrates our creative community. This is the fourth year for the festival, which will be held on…

It’s time to break out the spade and garden gloves. I’ve been inspired by recent visits to unbelievably beautiful flower gardens. I think we could transform an empty spot around the farm into an oasis of color.

I haven’t always been interested in the great outdoors. Growing up with three older brothers, I was introduced to fishing poles and guns at a young age but was never fully immersed in the sports. After they left for college, the desire to be out in the woods faded until I met my husband.

Jimmy Johns

What You're Missing