CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will receive a pay raise four percent less than originally approved by the Logan-based school’s board of governors.
The state Council for Community and Technical Colleges approved a new contract for Southern President Robert Gunter in a special meeting Friday. The agreement increases Gunter’s pay by 7.5 percent instead of 11.5 percent his BOG approved in an Oct. 30 vote.
State Council Chairman Bob Brown said all involved went back to the drawing board after the council rejected the original contract earlier this month.
“Notwithstanding the fact that he (Gunter) is a pretty incredible president—but it would send the wrong message at a time when we have some pretty significant economic downturn in southern West Virginia,” Brown said Friday.
The council instructed state Community and Technical College Chancellor Sarah Tucker to meet with Southern BOG Chair Howard Seufer to work out a more acceptable contract for Gunter. Tucker told the council Friday the negotiations were successful.
“This (new contract) is more in keeping with the salaries of the other presidents and more in keeping with raises that were provided to salary and staff at Southern,” Tucker said.
The original contract was a four-and-half year extension with an increase in Gunter’s base salary from $142,000 to $157,864. The new deal puts Gunter’s salary in the range of $150,000 a year. It begins Jan. 1.
The state council could have just rubberstamped the original contract but Brown said council members didn’t see it that way.
“I think we have to be very sensitive to the public perception of what we do in government in West Virginia,” he said. “And once again, at a time when the economy is a little sluggish, especially in southern West Virginia, we need to be really sensitive to what’s going on.”
Forty-one of 57 Southern faculty members voted in October in favor of a “no confidence” motion concerning Gunter. The Southern BOG has since instructed Gunter to get things worked out with the faculty.