CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Coastal Carolina University President Michael Benson will receive $450,000 in annual compensation, according to university documents.
That compensation is made up of an annual base salary of $245,000 a year and an annual $60,000 housing allowance, according to a contract signed in November. The Coastal Education Foundation will also give him an annual salary supplement of $145,000.
News13 obtained copies of Benson and President David DeCenzo’s contracts through a Freedom of Information request with the university. CCU charged News13 $25 in research fees before providing the documents.
Benson was named as the Conway university’s newest president in October, replacing DeCenzo, who has been president since 2007 and will officially retire on June 30.
Benson was previously president of Eastern Kentucky University from 2013 to 2020, and has also served as the president of Southern Utah University and Snow College in Utah.
The Coastal Carolina University Board of Trustees appointed Benson as president, effective Jan. 1 of this year. His four-year term ends Dec. 31, 2024.
CCU did not respond to a request for comment.
Benson’s contract also states that the university’s foundation will provide him with a recent model vehicle every three years during his term. It will also pay for fuel for university and professional-related use, along with maintenance and insurance. He has to pay for the cost of fuel when driving for personal use.
The university will reimburse him for expenses related to university-related travel and entertainment. His spouse’s university-related travel and entertainment spouses can also be reimbursed if the board’s chairperson pre-approves it.
Under the contract, he can also hold the position of full professor with tenure in the department of history and can teach one class a semester.
He will receive an honorary club membership and is CCU’s designee at the Capital City Club in Columbia.
The contract allows him to be reimbursed by the university for up to $5,000 in moving expenses, and up to $10,000 separately from the foundation.
His salary can be reduced if there’s a basis for discharge, or if the board declares a fiscal emergency.
DeCenzo’s most recent contract was renewed in August 2016, according to documents obtained by News13.
He received an annual base salary of $197,000 and had an annual housing allowance of $40,000.
The Coastal Educational Foundation gave him an additional, annual $75,000 stipend, a vehicle insured and maintained by the foundation and a retirement annuity of $100,000 a year. The Coastal Carolina University Housing Foundation gave him an annual stipend of $75,000 a year.
Like Benson, DeCenzo received an honorary, university-paid membership to the Capital City Club as CCU’s designee. He and his spouse were also able to be reimbursed for international travel on university business.