Higher Education Policy Commission renews Tucker’s contract

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Higher Education Policy Commission voted Friday to renew the contract of state Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker.

Sarah Armstrong Tucker (Photo/HEPC)

HEPC Chairman Mike Farrell said Tucker was “the best, most highly respected leader I’ve had the privilege to work with.”

Farrell said Tucker works “extraordinarily well” with college and university presidents throughout the state, the governor and legislature.

HEPC Vice-Chairman Drew Payne echoed Farrell’s comments. Payne said in 15 years working with higher education governance he’s never seen the operation run so smoothly.

“She works with all of the groups well. Every constituent group sings her praises,” Payne said.

Tucker serves a dual roll. She’s been chancellor of both the four-year schools with the HEPC and the chancellor fo the two-year schools that are part of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.

Mike Farrell

Tucker was chosen as interim chancellor by the HEPC in April 2019. She was made permanent chancellor a few months later. She’s been chancellor of CTCS since 2015.

HEPC Secretary Diana Lewis Jackson also had high praise for Tucker.

“I think Sarah is very engaged, she’s innovative, she’s collaborative and she cares which is very important in the position that she holds,” Jackson said.

Commission members also said no one has worked better with the public education system in their role as chancellor as Tucker has.

“She is one of the most caring people I think that I get to be around in state government. She definitely puts all students first and that says a lot to those people in charge,” state School Superintendent Clayton Burch said at Friday’s meeting.

The Council is expected to approve a contract with similar language at its June meeting. Tucker has two contracts and one salary.

Diana Lewis Jackson (Photo/HEPC)

The terms of the contract include:

* Effective July 1, 2021, salary will be $291,379 (the same as previously).

* The contract term ends June 30, 2024, with the option for extension of the term, unless the Chancellor voluntarily resigns.

* Salary and benefits will be divided equally between the Commission and the CTC Council so long as Chancellor Tucker serves as the Chancellor for both entities.

*Contingent upon available funding and assuming no reduction in Commission or Council revenues, the Chancellor shall receive deferred compensation of $15,000 payable on July 1, 2022, July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. The deferred compensation payments will be divided equally between the Commission and the Council so long as you are serving as the Chancellor for both entities. (Previously, the Council paid the deferred compensation, but it now will be split evenly).

Tucker earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University and a M.A. in Quantitative Research Methodology from the University of Michigan. She also earned her doctorate at Michigan. Tucker’s bio says before pursuing her doctorate she was a behavioral specialist and general education teacher in an adolescent girls group home. Before being hired at CTCS chancellor in 2015, Tucker was the director of planning and research for both the HEPC and CTCS.

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