The state Higher Education Policy Commission board approved Friday a five-year contract extension and $20,000 raise in annual pay for West Virginia State University President Anthony Jenkins, upping his annual base salary to $255,000.
The WVSU Board of Governors previously approved the new contract, and the board of the HEPC, which oversees the state’s four-year colleges, signed off Friday. The HEPC board also approved the Shepherd University board’s request for a five-year contract extension for Shepherd President Mary Hendrix that raises her annual base salary from $271,000 to $284,550.
The contract approvals came after the HEPC spent about 25 minutes in closed session. All votes Friday, including the one to enter that closed session, were voice votes with no nays heard.
Last month, the WVSU board voted to increase combined tuition and fees for all students by 5 percent this fall and decided to increase housing costs by 5 percent.
Melvin Jones, WVSU’s vice president of business and finance, has cited inflation, the spending down of reserve funds and consecutive state funding cuts (the Legislature did not cut higher education again for next fiscal year) as the reasons for the tuition and fees increase.
WVSU board Chairman Vincent Williams wrote to the HEPC board that Jenkins’ raise “is justified by the range of pay for existing Presidents in the university system of the State.”
Jenkins was first hired on a two-year contract that began July 1, 2016. The HEPC approved extending his contract through June 30, 2023.
“You are entitled to receive the annual experience increment available to all state employees as provided by statute,” Jenkins’ new and previous contracts state after listing his annual base pay. But his new contract goes on to say that “you may also seek an additional adjustment for the year beginning July 1, 2021, or in any year that you qualify for at least two of the three incentives.”
The new contract continues student retention rate pay incentives from the West Virginia State University Foundation, Inc. at the same level. Those incentives are a $5,000 single-year, non-stacking increase in each year the college increases the rate of first-time, full-time freshmen who stay from one fall to the next fall by 1-1.49 percent; $7,500 for increasing that rate 1.5-1.99 percent and $10,000 for increasing it 2 percent or more.
Jenkins’ last contract said he’d receive a $7,500 incentive payment in 2017 if he increased full-time-equivalent enrollment by at least 3 percent.
The new contract grants him $10,000 in annual single-year, non-stacking enrollment incentive payments if he increases by at least 3 percent over each prior year the full-time-equivalent enrollment of (more specifically than in the past contract) “those who are assessed tuition for hours taken at the full-time student rate.”
The new contract also bumps up his fundraising incentive payment from $7,500 to $10,000 per year for every year the college increases “donations through all fundraising initiatives by at least 10 percent” compared to each prior fiscal year.
The new contract continues his $1,200 monthly vehicle stipend, and continues to say he may use the vehicle at his “sole discretion for professional or personal use.” The new contract continues to say Jenkins is “authorized to accumulate up to twice your annual accrual of annual leave.”
His new contract continues to say he and his spouse are “authorized to accept air service and other means of transportation from the West Virginia State University Foundation, Inc. for institution related travel,” though the authorization for his spouse to accept that has been expanded to say “family.”