JUNEAU -

The president of the University of Alaska system has asked the board of regents to reconsider the $320,000 retention bonus it approved in June.

Pat Gamble said the timing isn't right. He noted budget concerns and enrollment challenges and said the bonus has become a negative distraction when the university community needs to come together.

The board voted to award Gamble the bonus if he remained on the job through 2016. The bonus equals a year of his salary.

Gamble would not be the first president to receive a bonus. But the offer comes amid budgetary concerns and has even spawned an online petition opposing it.

The university system, in a release, said Gamble made his comments to the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.