BHE rejects proposal to lengthen presidents' contracts to 5 years | Prairie Public Broadcasting

BHE rejects proposal to lengthen presidents' contracts to 5 years

Oct 25, 2019

The state Board of Higher Education has rejected the idea of lengthening the contract period for college and university presidents from the current three years to five years.

Board member Dan Traynor brought the idea to the Board’s Governance Committee, but the Committee turned it down. So, Traynor brought up the idea to the full board. He said with new hires, he thinks the expectation should be that a new president should stay in that job at least five years.

"It provides the new President with sufficient space to make some hard choices that need to be made, without having the concern of a contract renewal coming up so quickly," Traynor told the Board. "It gives then time to make some unpopular choices on campus, and see the benefits of those before the initial contract renewal comes up."

But the Board voted 5-1 against Traynor's proposal.

"I think five years is a long time in today's world," said board member Tim Mihalick.

"It's a lifetime for students at these institutions," said student member Kaleb Dschaak. "If we have a candidate who, throughout their tenure, isn't in the service of students, that will go through the entire lifetime of that student's tenure at that institution."

The Board looked at other proposed changes to the contracts -- but decided to send it back to committee for further work.