Columbia, SC (WLTX) - We now have a better idea of how much the new South Carolina State University president will likely be paid.
The State Agency Head Salary Commission Tuesday approved a base salary of $170,000 for Thomas Elzey. That's about $28,000 less than the $198,862 requested by the school.
They have also recommended another $25,000 for a housing allowance, but that money will have to be approved by the budget and control board.
Commission members say they reconsider Elzey's pay in a year based on his performance.
"South Carolina State, being in the mess that it's in, we decided to not give the president the full amount of compensation that the board was asking for until that person proves his self," said commission member Rep. Leon Howard.
He says he and other lawmakers did not like the way trustees handled the presidential search.
"A lot of us are offended that they rushed and hired a president knowing that the board's gonna change," said Howard.
Lawmakers will vote on six trustee positions Wednesday. Four current South Carolina State board members are up for consideration.
"I have no track record as a president to base that on and when comparing to the other universities I felt it was not an equal way to deal with it," said another member, Rep. Michael Pitts, who was the only vote against approving Elzey's salary.
According to a fact sheet provided to the commission, President John Rosa at the Citadel, where Elzey will come from, brings in $151,200. The school has an enrollment of about 3,400.
Winthrop University's new president Jayne Marie Comstock who will take over in July leading 6,500 hundred students will take home a salary of about $169,970.
Coastal Carolina's President David Decenzo, who heads a university with more than double South Carolina State's 4,000 students, at 9,335, brings in $167,400.
Pitts says approving Elzey's salary is asking for trouble.
"You have to keep all the ducks in line or you create problems, and I think we just did. I think we opened the door, to as I said, a floodgate of the other presidents coming forward and asking for more money," said Pitts.
Trustees have also asked the university's foundation to pay an additional $131,000 to Elzey. That money has not yet received approval.
News19 was told Elzey tentatively accepted the job based on approval of the salary.