Weather Alerts 3 View »

Edison decides pay scale for next president

Edison decides pay scale for next president

By Matt Grant. CREATED May 22, 2012

LABELLE, Fla. - Edison State College's next president will make less than half of what fired president Dr. Ken Walker took home.

Before Edison's next president can sign on the dotted line, the college had to decide how much that person should be paid especially considering the controversy over Walker's pricey paycheck.

A state audit last year found Walker's total compensation was "the highest of any public college president in the state of Florida" and questioned how reasonable it was.

At Edison's Hendry-Glades center in Labelle, the board of trustees voted to pay the next president much less.

"The methodology presented is both reasonable and fiscally prudent," said Edison's VP of financial services.

Here's the comparison:

  • Walker's base salary was $322,400, according to the audit.
  • The next president's salary will be somewhere between $211,080 and $316,620, the college decided.
  • Walker made $837,085 with benefits.
  • The next president will make between $270,182 and $405,273 with benefits, according to Fox 4 calculations. The next president's benefits will account for 28 percent of his salary, according to board chair Ann Berlam. 

"I think it sounds reasonable, it sounds fair," said Ellie Bunting with Edison's faculty union. "I think it's trying to send a message that the board this time is paying a lot more attention to what they're paying and what the contract is going to be."

"The range that was approved will be sufficient for us to attract good candidates," said board of trustees chair Ann Berlam.

But is there a chance the next president's total compensation could balloon to over $800,000, like Walker?

"I don't see that happening," said Berlam.

Fox 4 asked Berlam if, in hindsight, Walker's compensation was unreasonable; she declined to comment.

Matt Grant