The University of South Carolina on Friday took steps to keep Harris Pastides in the president’s house for a few more years, approving a retirement package that will pay the New York City native more the longer he stays on the job.
Pastides will be paid more than $1.1 million for the upcoming school year, his 10th leading the state’s flagship university.
But trustees Friday approved deferring hundreds of thousands of dollars in Pastides’ previously approved retention bonuses into an insurance policy over the next several years. That policy will pay out more the longer Pastides remains USC’s president.
Still, USC spokesman Wes Hickman said, “He (Pastides) has no retirement plans.”
“I still have the energy, I think, to face the year ahead,” Pastides told USC’s trustees. “It will be another tumultuous year, but I do thank the board for their endorsement.”
Pastides, 63, is the longest actively serving president in the Southeastern Conference.
Trustees have praised Pastides for helping to raise more than $1 billion during USC’s Carolina Promise campaign, helping to grow the school’s endowment to more than $655 million, guiding the launch of the online Palmetto College program and forging research partnerships with companies including IBM and Boeing.
Earlier this year, Pastides was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given to outstanding children of immigrants.
Next week, USC will welcome its largest and most academically accomplished freshman class, bumping the Columbia school’s enrollment to 35,000 and its system-wide enrollment to roughly 50,000.
Pastides made just more than $1 million over the past academic year, after getting a $100,000 pay increase last August.
His pay for the upcoming academic year includes $325,031 from S.C. taxpayers and $803,800 in supplemental pay from the USC Foundation, including a $100,000 retention bonus he earned last month.
Under the previous pay plan, Pastides was set to earn retention bonuses of $300,000 in July 2018 and $350,000 every year after that. Most of those bonuses now will be converted into payments for Pastides’ retirement package.
USC trustees praised president Harris Pastides for helping to:
▪ Raise more than $1 billion during USC’s Carolina Promise fundraising campaign
▪ Grow the school’s endowment to more than $655 million
▪ Launch the online Palmetto College program
▪ Forge research partnerships with companies, including IBM and Boeing