Wednesday, July 24, 2024

W&M prez got a $75K bonus. Here’s why

William & Mary President Katherine Rowe. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of W&M)
William & Mary President Katherine Rowe. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of W&M)

The sports controversy is far from over.

Less than a month after William & Mary announced the remaining varsity sports teams would be reinstated tentatively for one year, the university’s Board of Visitors gave W&M President Katherine Rowe a bonus for how she handled the situation and the coronavirus pandemic.

At the Nov. 20 BOV meeting, both Rowe and Richard Bland College President Debbie Sydow received “performance bonuses” for the 2019-2020 year, BOV Rector John Littel wrote in an email Wednesday.

The approval for the bonuses was unanimous.

“Their performance evaluations were conducted by the Board in August,” he noted, adding the fiscal year ended in June. “However, given the uncertain nature of the pandemic, the awards were delayed until we had a better sense of our financial position.”

“I should also note that President Rowe voluntarily took a 15% salary reduction for the fall semester,” Littel added.

Suzanne Clavet, spokeswoman for the university, on Thursday wrote in an email Rowe received $75,000 and Sydow received $50,000 “in accordance with their contracts.”

“As I’ve stated previously, the Board remains extremely pleased with President Rowe’s performance, particularly how well she has led the university safely through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Littel said. “There’s no standard playbook to managing this kind of crisis — she led the university in establishing clear goals at the outset and brought this community together to meet those goals.”

Littel said Rowe and the BOV were “committed to job security” for the faculty and staff and the university has been a “leader” in how to successfully respond” to the pandemic.

“President Rowe was also evaluated for her work beyond the pandemic and exceeded her established goals for the year,” Littel noted. “W&M has made great strides under President Rowe’s leadership in just 2 short years.”

While Littel did not elaborate on what specific goals Rowe had achieved or exceeded for the year, he did say the BOV appreciates Rowe’s “responsive and deliberate decisions” regarding the future path of the athletics department.

“We are confident that the work that the President and Interim Athletic Director Dr. Jeremy Martin are leading, in conjunction with our 23 teams and their supporters, will create a framework for a Path Forward in Athletics,” he wrote.

The next performance evaluation of both Rowe and Sydow is late summer 2021.

Here is a timeline leading up to the reinstatement of the teams:


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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