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Published: Tuesday, 8/10/2004

Community college chief gets raise, pressure

BY RYAN E. SMITH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The vote took place during a series of meetings the week of July 26 but was announced publicly yesterday by union officials after the college's board of trustees gave Ms. Young its support and a new contract.

Denise Leu, the college's registrar and president of the Northwest State Community College Education Association, said the union's concerns include Ms. Young's desire to make changes without going through the traditional negotiating process. The union represents 103 faculty and support staff at the college near Archbold.

Mrs. Leu said the no-confidence vote passed overwhelmingly, but she would not release a vote tally.

On Thursday, the board of trustees unanimously voted to give Ms. Young a contract lasting through 2007. It provided for a 2 percent pay raise this year, increasing her salary from $115,000 to $117,300.

A more substantial perk is that the college will pay for 5.83 years of service time in the State Teachers Retirement System over three years, or a total of about $20,000. Ms. Young had earned the time years ago working in public higher education in Ohio, but bought out that time when she moved to a private university, college officials said.

Also, the college no longer will pay for the president's health insurance, a cost of $960 a year.

Bryan Keller, chairman of the trustees, said the board remains

pleased with the president's performance and that any problems between Ms. Young and the union can be overcome.

"We felt that her job was satisfactory," he said. "It seems like philosophically [the union and Ms. Young] were on the same page. I think communication will solve those problems."

As for the added perks and pay, Mr. Keller said it was appropriate given the relatively low salary Ms. Young was given when she was hired last year to take over for retiring president Larry McDougle.

The state average for a community college president's salary in Ohio is $144,264, according to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.

Ms. Young said the no-confidence vote was the latest step taken by the union to try and stop her from moving the college forward. She said she has tried to create a more collaborative environment, but that union officials will not meet with her.

"It's like every move I've made, there's been [a grievance] filed," she said.

Contact Ryan E. Smith at:

ryansmith@theblade.com

or 419-724-6074.



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