HUNTINGTON — Marshall University President-elect Brad Smith will earn the same salary as the institution’s current president, according to his new contract.
The five-year contract inked by Smith Oct. 29 allows the businessman to continue his philanthropy work, but requires him to step away from his paid roles in Silicon Valley.
The contract for Smith, who was unanimously selected as the next president by the university’s Board of Governors on Oct. 28, expires Jan. 1, 2027.
The $470,000 salary is the same salary given to current President Jerome Gilbert, who will step down from the presidency in December and transition into an advisory role for Smith until the expiration of his contract next summer. Board of Governors Chairman Patrick Farrell said Smith’s contract varies only slightly from Gilbert’s.
“The Board of Governors always intended to present a contract to the next president with the same contract terms and conditions as the one we have with Dr. Gilbert,” he said. “When it looked like Brad Smith was likely to be picked, we modified some of the contract language to address the transition of his private business interests, and to acknowledge the continuation of his philanthropic activities.”
The contract includes incentives, which say the $470,000 salary could be increased to reflect any annual experience increment available to all state employees.
He will also benefit from monthly stipends of $180 for mobile phone usage and $1,800 ($900 each) for two vehicles and any costs related to them.
Included in his benefits is a membership to the Guyan Golf & Country Club, family health and life insurance and retirement plans provided through the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency.
He will accrue annual leave at the rate of two days per month and sick leave at the rate of one and one-half days per month.
Within two weeks of the contract being signed, and every year after, Smith is expected to undergo a comprehensive physical examination by a mutually agreed upon physician who will only inform the university if Smith has a condition that would affect his ability to perform presidential duties.
Smith is also required to follow ethical standards at all times in his role as president.
Smith, a West Virginia native, served as the CEO of Intuit for 11 years and is currently the executive chairman of the board of Intuit. He is also the chairman of the Nordstrom board and a board member of Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey). He formerly served on the board of Yahoo as well.
The contract states Smith may not serve as a paid member of a board of directors or paid consultant of any public or private corporate or association body during his tenure “without permission of the Board of Governors,” per the contract.
Smith and the BOG agreed to give him until January 2023 to fulfill any commitments with those boards, but the date can be extended with an agreement of the parties.
“The Board acknowledges that we have reviewed your numerous business relationships and find no conflicts of interest relative to your employment as President of the University,” the contract reads.
He will be able to continue current philanthropic activities and personal investments, however, as long as no conflict of interest exists and his presidential duties are being fulfilled.
His most recent work has focused on combating economic and lifestyle hardships for West Virginia through the Wing 2 Wing Foundation that he co-founded with his wife, Alys.
The Wing 2 Wing Foundation provides increased access and support for education, entrepreneurship mentoring and investment, according to its website.
As a special note, the Board of Governors acknowledged Smith’s work in support of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation’s philanthropic efforts, including a partnership with the West Virginia University Brad & Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative and other inter-university collaborations.
The board agreed to allow Smith to continue his work in those efforts, as long as no legal conflicts of interest arise.
Smith and his wife are required to live in the university president’s residence, which overlooks Ritter Park in Huntington and is also used for official school functions. The university will remain responsible for expenses associated with the home, including domestic help and decoration.
Any capital improvements to the home or its grounds must be approved by the board.
The contract also notes Smith can be removed from the position with “cause,” which includes failing to perform his presidential duties, dishonesty and gross immorality.