Caboni signs employment agreement, continues to serve as university president

Infographic of changes to President Caboni’s contract

Debra Murray

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misspelled Kacy Caboni’s name. It has been corrected. The Herald regrets the error.

The Board of Regents has approved the contract between WKU President Tim Caboni and the university, which Caboni has officially signed, continuing his employment.

The contract establishes Caboni’s base salary, retention and performance bonus levels and qualifications, deferred compensation plan, and potential separation payments. His contract was the subject of the last Board of Regents meeting.

Caboni said he is glad the Board of Regents is pleased with the progress WKU is making during his time as president.

“There’s no place that Kacy [Caboni] and I would rather be than WKU,” Caboni said. “This allows us to stop thinking about anything other than the goals and the work that we have ahead, and so I’m thankful for the board, expressing that confidence in our performance as a university, in my leadership as president.”

Caboni said he is grateful the Board of Regents wants to continue his employment.

“All that it needs is the chair of the Board of Regents to sign it,” Caboni said. “But to be candid with you after that [Board of Regents] meeting, I put all of my efforts back into focusing on the strategic plan, and we have lots of exciting things that are to come.”

Caboni’s base salary will be increased by $50,000 per year, to a total of $450,000.

Susan Howarth is the executive vice president for Strategy, Operations and Finance. Howarth said Caboni’s salary is a part of the overall budget for the university.

“The president’s new board-approved contract is budget neutral,” Howarth said in an email. “Required funds will come from an existing previously budgeted university-wide reserve.”

The last Faculty Senate meeting was held on March 19. The Senate discussed Caboni’s recent pay increase. The pay increase widens the gap between salaries of faculty and staff in comparison to high-level administration.

In comparison to his original contract as president, his second contract has changed the separation policy to create a schedule to establish the sum Caboni would be required to pay to the university in the event he were to terminate his employment and take another ad- ministrative position within a year of his contract termination date.

Caboni said the contract shows the commitment of the Board of Regents to keep him as president.

“The board was very clear about their intent and desire to retain me as university president, and not just for a year or two, but for the long term,” Caboni said. “I would suggest and I think the contract demonstrates that commitment to me. But it also demonstrates my commitment to the university. Kacy and I joined this community. I rejoined this community as a proud alumnus, to help continue the great work that had happened before we got here.”

A deferred compensation plan was added to the employment agreement to “provide stability to the University’s Chief Executive position and allow the full dedication of Caboni’s resources to address and implement the goals and visions of the University,” as described in subsection D of the contract.

“I think the contract protects the university and protects me,” Caboni said. “We want to make sure that it was fair for both sides, and I think the document that you see is the one that ensures that Kacy and I can focus on the work at hand, that we don’t have to worry about anything other than the strategic plan and achieving those goals, and the board can focus on the work at hand, and they don’t have to be concerned about anything other than those strategic goals.”

Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy.