Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Carpenter to enjoy big paycheck in Houston

Outgoing CSN President Richard Carpenter will be paid $55,000 more a year when he moves to Houston as chancellor of the North Harris Community College District.

He will receive an annual salary of $310,000, and get an additional 10 percent of that as deferred compensation , which he can tap in retirement, according to a copy of his contract provided to the Sun.

The overall $341,000 annual pay compares to the $286,000 he received at the College of Southern Nevada.

His Texas paycheck will go further, too, because Houston's cost of living - especially for housing - is less than Las Vegas'.

If Carpenter voluntarily leaves the Houston job or is fired for good cause within the first two years, he for feits the retirement fund.

Other perks include moving-cost reimbursements and up to three months ' rent as well as a computer and Internet set up for a home office.

Carpenter initially rejected a $320,000 offer from Houston.

Jim Rogers, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education and eager at the time to keep Carpenter at the helm of CSN, countered once with a $50,000 raise proposal, but said he would not enter a bidding war .

Regents and CSN Foundation members accused Carpenter of playing Texas and Nevada officials off of each other to get a bigger paycheck, but Carpenter insisted that his consideration of the North Harris job was not financially motivated.

Because of the size of the North Harris college system, the job is a promotion for Carpenter, and brings him closer to his family in Louisiana.

Rogers said personal issues were likely the deciding factor, as Carpenter's wife never moved to Las Vegas. She does plan to move to Texas, Carpenter said.

Carpenter's new contract specifies that he will be the chief executive for the system, with the primary responsibility of executing the policies adopted by North Harris trustees, language Carpenter requested. Nevada regents have often clashed with their chancellor over how policies are executed.

Carpenter and North Harris officials signed the contract June 16 but did not release it until Thursday .

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