Board Approves New Presidential Compensation Package
The NMU Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new compensation package for President Les Wong. It will go into effect July 1, the date his original three-year agreement is set to expire.
Wong’s base salary will increase from $170,000 to $185,000.
“The board has been very pleased with the president’s leadership and track record over the past three years,” said Sam Benedict, chair of the executive committee, which recommended the increase. “Recognizing the competitive nature of the market nationwide, our goal is to keep Dr. Wong at Northern for as long as possible. One step in doing that is to raise the value of his compensation package. It had fallen behind the average of his peers.”
Wong also will receive a $10,000 increase in deferred compensation. When combined with his revised salary, retirement contributions and a potential bonus for achieving goals, his total package is valued at about $264,000. Last year's average for peer institutions in Michigan was close to $265,000. That figure excludes presidential packages at Michigan State, Wayne State and the University of Michigan.
“Deferred compensation is a way to offer an incentive for Dr. Wong to stay while at the same time protecting the university’s investment,” Benedict added. “It’s not put aside until the end of the first year of his contract and is not vested until 2010, so if Les leaves NMU before June 1, 2010, he receives none of that money. Additional compensation will be added to that fund for each year that he stays after that point. So depending on the calendar year, there will always be two to three years worth of deferred compensation at risk if he leaves early. ”
In other action at today’s meeting, the board:
•Approved housing and dining rates for the coming academic year. The annual cost of a double-occupancy residence hall room and the “constant meal pass” plan will be $7,038, an increase of $346
•Agreed on continuation budgets for the general fund and designated fund for 2007-08, meaning they will operate at the same level as the current year – with the exception of contractual increases – until new budgets are approved
•Approved five new academic programs: plastic injection certificate; nurse educator graduate certificate; bachelor’s degree in loss prevention management; and associate degrees in radiography and respiratory therapy
•Voted to increase the one-time student athletic fee from $175 to $200
•Accepted $21,650 in external gifts and about $1 million in external grants
•Approved charter school contract extensions through June 2010 for the Nah Tah Wahsh and JKL Bahweting Anishnaabe Public School Academies. The board also appointed the following as board members for NMU's Public School Academies: JKL Bahweting, Norma Castro and Isaac McKechnie; Burton Glen, Constance Roberts and William Fischer; and North Star, Kathy Heikkala, Patricia Martin, Jacquelyn Gonda and Margaret Jajich
•Heard in the president’s report that 187 NMU students traveled overseas in 2006-07 for faculty-led study abroad programs, student teaching experiences or independent study abroad experiences
The next meeting of the NMU Board of Trustees is scheduled for July 19-20.