By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees approved a 2.5-percent pay increase for President Mary Ellen Mazey this morning (June 23).
Chairman David Levey said that the board, after reviewing her performance earlier in the day, felt the pay increase was merited based on a number of factors. Those included the successful negotiation of a contract with the faculty union – “that’s a pretty big accomplishment,” enrollment of larger and more academically prepared first year students, and more success in keeping students on campus so they graduate. He also cited an “improving relationship” with the university’s foundation.
Aside from the union contract, which was approved at the May trustees meeting, all those other factors played a part in the meeting, which was held on the Firelands campus.
The increase brings Mazey’s salary to $412,136, beginning in Sept. 1. The board also approved an additional 10-percent payment to her deferred compensation package. That $40,208 is on top of the 15 percent called for in her contract. Those payments are is based on her current salary.
Mazey said that the pay increase was a vote of confidence in her performance. Of the accomplishments cited, she said she was particularly pleased that the number of incoming freshmen is increasing.
The pay increase, she noted, was in line with the 2.5-percent increase employees not covered by the union will receive. The union agreement calls for a 3-percent increase in the compensation pool for faculty.We rely on reader support. Buy a membership today!
That increase in compensation figured into 2017 budgets for the campus approved earlier in the meeting by the board.
With an increase in state funding, BGSU expects to have revenues of $415.3 million, a 3.1-percent increase, and expenditures of $411.5 million, a 3-percent increase. The budget for the Bowling Green campus will be $288,376,367, a 2.6 percent increase.
Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll said that after years of declines the State Share of Instruction is now increasing. The 2017 budget includes a 4-percent increase from last year. On the Bowling Green campus, that $70.7 million accounts for 24.5 percent of the revenue. Student tuition and fees account for 67.6 percent of revenue. That’s an improvement over just two years ago when students’ share was 71.7 percent.
The university, Stoll said, benefited not only from more money allotted by the state, but also better performance. State funding is largely based on how many students graduate and successfully complete courses.
The recruitment not only of more first year students, but also those who have the academic abilities that allow them to stay in college has helped.
This is, she noted, the third year that tuition and general fees have been frozen. BGSU froze tuition in 2015, then the legislature, as a condition to providing more state funds, froze tuition for 2016 and 2017. (Some fees for specific classes and programs were increased in May.)
In terms of expenditures, salaries and benefits are the biggest chunk representing 58.7 percent, or almost $171 million of the Bowling Green campus budget. Second biggest spending item is student aid and scholarships, of about $41.1 million or 14.7 percent of the expenditures.
Stoll told the trustees that the state’s improving economy has helped. The state’s economy has been “improving, but slowly and at times unevenly,” she said.
She noted that from last May to this May the unemployment rate has ticked up from 4.9 percent to 5.1 percent. The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree, she added, is 2.5 percent.
In other action, the trustees:
- Approved the creation of a new Master’s of Social Work degree with a specialization in gerontology. Mazey said this builds on what’s already a strength at BGSU, including the formation of an Optimal Aging Institution. “It’s all interconnected.”
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding, between the university’s foundation and the university. Vice president Shea McGrew said this completes a process to better align the foundation and the university’s operations.