Documents Show Hardin Urged Secrecy for Controversial UCA Bonus

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Newly released documents show that University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin told school trustees they could set aside $150,000 a year for him in "deferred income" above his salary without disclosing it publicly.

Hardin is a former state lawmaker who worked on the state's Freedom of Information Act.  He says he believed that income was not subject to state open records laws.  The request for the additional income and a $300,000 bonus came after trustees asked him to come up with a compensation package to make the school competitive with other universities.

Hardin later repaid the $300,000 bonus, less taxes, after media reports questioned whether the board violated state law by not disclosing the bonus package in meeting minutes and notes.  Hardin says the board will take a public vote on accelerating the $300,000 payment during the open portion of a trustee's meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

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