University of Iowa President Sally Mason admitted during a meeting with reporters Wednesday she has some issues to work on and said she’s not concerned about the Board of Regents decision to not renew her contract.
While she does not have a contract, Mason said she’s pleased with the five-year agreement for deferring a portion of her compensation, and the two percent bump in her annual salary of $493,000. The 62-year-old Mason says she’s still intending to complete her career at Iowa.
“There’s a lot that I still would like to get done. Certainly all of the flood renewal projects. The capital campaign, the comprehensive campaign that we’re going to kick off in May that goes through twenty-sixteen. All of these things I would like to get finished,” Mason said.
“And if I get all of these done, I’m going to feel very good about the institution and about what I’ve been able to accomplish, and retirement might seem pretty good at that point.” Mason acknowledges there’s work to do, beginning with the directive form the Board of Regents to polish relations with Iowa legislators.
“You know, that’s always a work in progress and now that we have some new legislators, I have some new people to meet. I’ve made a number of visits just the past month or so with some key legislators, and I’ve got more on schedule for the future, and obviously, as we get further and further into the legislative session and they’re actually all in one place, it’s a little easier for me to go and talk with them, so we’ll be doing a lot of that this year for sure,” Mason said.
But a question was raised about Mason’s perception among some legislators, that there’s sometimes an arrogant tone about her. “Well, I hope that’s not the tone that I leave with people. If it is, I have work to do,” Mason said. Governor Branstad earlier this week said he’s concerned about some instances of a lack of transparency at the University of Iowa.
Mason says with 25,000 employees and 31,000 students, one of the things she is very careful about and very protective about the legal rights to privacy of both the students and employees. Mason was asked how she respond to Governor Branstad’s transparency concerns.
“I would say, Governor, let’s sit down after this, have a cup of coffee and let me find out what your concerns are so I can clarify for you what is going on. There’s no reason for you not to have as much information as you think you need,” Mason replied.
Following up that statement, Mason said she hasn’t contacted Governor Branstad, because she works for and through the Board of Regents.