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SBHE okays first Presidential contract language without bonuses

State Board of Higher Education member Casey Ryan.

The Board of Higher Education has approved what will be the initial contract for new Presidents in the University System.

But the Board removed a provision that new Presidents would be eligible to receive up to a 25 percent bonus for meeting certain goals. That provision caused a lot of discussion at the Thursday special board meeting.

"I did get a strong feeling from the faculty that this would kill morale, by bonusing the executives, when faculty and staff haven't gotten significant raises for at least two years,"said faculty representative Debra Dragseth, from Dickinson State University.

Board member Casey Ryan had originally supported an idea to reduce the 25 percent to 15 percent, but later moved to remove that language from the proposed contract. Ryan said the matter needs more discussion.

"I get it from both sides," Ryan said. "I think when people read it, it's apparant that they think they're going to get 15 percent, no matter what."

Board member Dan Traynor originally made the suggestion for the bonus. He did vote for Ryan’s motion, saying time is of the essence to get new language in place.

"But I think the Board is making a mistak, in not keeping up with what other states are doing, in trying to keep and attract college presidents," Traynor said. "Performance bonuses are part of that toolbox that otehr systems are using, that we need to start adopting."

The new contract will first come into play when the new UND president is hired.

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