Northern Michigan University's Board of Trustees today approved a new compensation package for President Les Wong. It will go into effect July 1, the date his current contract is set to expire.

            Wong received a 5 percent increase to his base salary, raising that to $194,225. The board also voted to add $5,000 to his deferred compensation for each year he continues to serve as NMU's president.

              "In recognition of President Wong's outstanding performance at Northern and his less-than-competitive base salary when compared with peer institutions, the committee is recommending the 5 percent increase," said Sam Benedict, chair of the board's executive committee

            "Deferred compensation is a way to encourage Dr. Wong to stay at Northern while also protecting the university's investment. We want him to implement the impressive initiatives he recently laid out in his strategic 'Road Map [to 2015 and Beyond].' The deferred comp funds are not put aside until the end of the contract year and are not vested until he completes two more years of service."

            In other action, the board:

            •Approved 2008-09 housing and dining rates. The cost of a double-occupancy room, the "constant meal pass" plan and the non-refundable residence hall comprehensive fee will be $7,636 for the academic year, an increase of $208 per semester.


            •Authorized continuation general fund and designated fund budgets until new versions are approved pending a decision on state higher education appropriations. The budgets will not exceed the current level, except for increases required by existing or newly negotiated union contracts.


            •Approved two new degree programs: a graduate certificate in public management and a bachelor's degree in art history, both of which will be offered this fall.


            •Agreed that, effective July 1, Continuing Education and Sponsored Programs will be split into two units: the Department of Continuing Education and the Grants and Research Office.


            •Accepted $5,000 in gifts and more than $1.3 million in external grants.


            •Granted James Camerius, who retired from NMU after more than 44 years of teaching, the status of Professor Emeritus of Marketing.


            •Renewed charter school contracts with Burton Glen Public School Academy and Walton School Academy through June 30, 2011.


            •Reappointed the following Public School Academy board members: Greg Toutant, North Star Academy; Kenneth Dunton, Regina Rolstone and Jack Thompson, JKL Bahweting; and Rev. Mary Covington and Thomas Kuczera, Burton Glen Academy. Trustees appointed Tim Brisbois to the Walton Academy board.


            •Approved an additional $30,000 for the Kaye House renovation project after receiving a final estimate that had been revised from the $200,000 originally budgeted.


            •Increased the bowling course fee from $70 to $75 to reflect the increase being charged to NMU for lane usage.


            •Participated in a focus discussion offering an overview of NMU athletics and of the university's community college role.


            The next regularly scheduled meeting of the NMU Board of Trustees is July 17-18.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director