Board of Trustees approves salary increase for President John Hitt

Dozens gather at Board of Trustees meeting to protest

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Board of Trustees has approved a raise for University of Central Florida president John Hitt on Thursday.

Hitt previously earned more than $463,000 a year, making him the ninth highest paid college president in the country. He stands to become the fifth most expensive university president after the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees voted to give him a base salary raise of $26,500. That doesn't include other perks, such as free housing and a car.

Members of the student labor action project say giving Hitt a raise would be hypocritical, in part because tuition has shot up 15 percent every year, for the past four-years.

The demonstration began at 9 a.m. outside the Live Oak Conference Room. The Board of Trustees says Hitt deserves the raise because of a positive review from an independent board.

"An independent review of Dr. Hitt's performance rated him as one of the most effective and productive university presidents in the country," said UCF spokesperson Grant Heston in a statement. "Dr. Hitt and his leadership team are constantly focused on student achievement, faculty success and community partnerships."

Heston said the increase in Hitt's salary won't come from state funds or tuition, but from private donations to UCF. Heston also said Hitt hasn't had a base salary increase in six years.

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