PSE asks Gov. Gregoire to stop CWU president’s $500,000 bonus

If President James Gaudino doesn’t leave Central Washington University in the next five years, he’ll receive a $500,000 bonus.

On Friday, Oct. 14, PSE President Judi Owens sent a letter to Gov. Christine Gregoire asking her to declare the contract infeasible. The governor responded to member emails saying that no state money is used to pay university president salaries and encouraged people to contact the university’s Board of Trustees.

It seems like an amazing and unnecessary expense during a time when the economy is still uncertain and higher education is out of reach for many students. CWU has seen tuition hikes of 14 percent in recent years, making continued education impossible for some students and sending graduates into the real world with mounds of debt.

But Gaudino’s incentive bonus, which is paid out at the end of five years, could pay for 11 students to complete and finish their schooling at CWU on a full ride. Factor in that, according to US News and World Report, 70.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some sort of need-based financial aid, and it’s clear to see that Gaudino’s $500,000 would allow many, many students to earn a college education.

It’s also uncomfortable that the decision was made during a mid-day meeting 100 miles away from the main campus — a time and location that left most of the CWU community out of the conversation. And then the decision was made public in The Daily Record, the regional newspaper, rather than by sending an email first to staff.

Please support PSE as we fight for our CWU family. Call (800) 562-6000 and ask Gov. Gregoire to “VETO” the CWU president’s $500,000 bonus.

Click here to read The Seattle Times’ article, “CWU president to get $500,000 incentive pay.”

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