FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton's contract has been extended three years and includes incentives to stay in the job.
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Under the new contract, Hamilton's yearly salary increases to $300,000 a year. If he stays through 2009, he has been promised a $210,000 bonus.
The Board of Regents announced the contract extension and pay raise for the top administrator of the statewide university system on Wednesday after meeting in a closed-door executive session. The board is meeting in Fairbanks this week.
Mary Hughes, chair of the 11-member Board of Regents, said the university hopes to keep Hamilton as long as it can. She credited Hamilton's leadership for the university's current budget growth and with garnering support from both the governor and Legislature since taking the helm. Hamilton has served as president of the university since 1998.
Under his old contract, Hamilton earned a base salary of $265,500, as well as benefits, such as the use of the president's mansion. Under the new contract, which runs from June 2006 to June 2009, Hamilton will receive a base salary of $300,000 a year, as well as benefits. Each full year Hamilton stays in the job, through the end of this current contract, he will also be given a bonus of $70,000. If he stays all three years, that will mean an additional $210,000.
Quatt Associates, a management consulting firm, was hired by the board this year to help review Hamilton's compensation package.
Hamilton's pay raise reinforces his standing as the highest-paid public employee in the state. But Hughes noted that Hamilton's old salary was well below the median salary for presidents at similar universities across the country.