CMU President George Ross receives another pay raise

BoTCentral Michigan University’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed today to raise President George Ross’ yearly salary to $450,000 – effective January 1.

The new salary is a $20,000 increase from the amount made official during last year’s annual meeting. Ross also receives other benefits and incentives in addition to his base pay. Last year, his salary was raised $30,000.

President Ross said the salary increase was based in competition with other universities in the country.

“It’s like any other position you’re in. There’s market, and in order to be competitive you have to pay for professionals based on what the market dictates,” said Ross.

Board of Trustees Chair William Kanine also defended the salary increase, citing Ross’ dedication towards the university’s ideals and skills as a leader as a justification of his salary.

“That salary increase is (just) a number, but it’s well-deserved. To keep a guy of his talents, we have to be competitive,” Kanine said. “That supports, in my opinion, what we have to do. We want to make certain that we can keep him, because he’s done a good job here.”

The meeting, the board’s last of 2015, also saw President Ross receive a very positive review during his presidential evaluation, which was determined using online assessments and personal interviews performed over the course of the past three months.

As reported by Vice Chair Tricia Keith, the evaluation process was designed to be as inclusive regarding the CMU community as possible, including students, faculty, alumni/donors, and members of the Mount Pleasant community.

Of the 79 stakeholders from across the university involved in the evaluation, 27 were personally interviewed, and the remaining 52 were surveyed using online instruments.

President George Ross gave his report, which he highlights different grants given to the university and the start of a campus dialogue about race.

Global Campus

A large part of the meeting was dedicated to a presentation put on by Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) chair and Dean of the Education and Human Services College Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson  regarding the state of online enrollment and CMU’s Global Campus.

Regarding the Global Campus’s abilities to reach out to more diverse student audiences, Pehrsson cited the existence of “work groups” specifically designed to engage with students.

“We want to make sure that every course that’s delivered to our students is part of an integrated learning experience that best prepares those students for the future,” Pehrsson said.

The full report is available online.

The ongoing issue of the Rose Pool’s closure was discussed as well. The board clarified the pool would not be closed until after renovations for the Student Activity Center (SAC) pool facilities are completed. This will be the first major renewal of the facility’s condition since the late 1980s.

The Rose Pool is scheduled to close in June 2016. It would have cost the university more than $4 million to renovate the pool.

Other items voted on.

-Approval of the prospective lists of the 2,308 graduates receiving their degrees on Dec. 19.

-Approval of nearly $8 million in deferred maintenance projects for the fiscal year 2016-2017.

-Approval of a long-term lease with Peaine Township on Beaver Island for land that contains a 180-foot communications tower.

-Approval of a lease with McLaren Central Michigan for clinical space in Foust Hall, with revenue adding up to be $11,476.

The Board of Trustees’ next meeting is February 18.

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