Ross receives $20,000 raise, 'very positive' evaluation


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President George Ross speaks to the Board of trustees in the President's conference room in the University Center on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 during the Board of trustees meeting.

President George Ross will receive a $20,000 raise on Jan. 1, bringing his annual salary to $450,000. 

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees approved the increase after approving a "very positive" performance review of the president at its Dec. 17 meeting. The president's contract requires the board to annually assess his salary.

Salaries of presidents at MAC Schools

Ohio University $465,000

Akron $450,000

Northern Illinois $450,000

Central Michigan $450,000

Ball State $446,338

Kent State $426,156

Miami Ohio $419,439

Toledo $392,700

Bowling Green $390,000

Buffalo $385,000

Western Michigan $382,776

U-Mass $375,500

Eastern Michigan $340,000

"It's like any other position you're in. There's market, and in order to be competitive you pay people based on what the market dictates," Ross said. "The board talked about it today; they looked across MAC institutions at the salary of leadership of those institutions."

Trustee Tricia Keith said students, faculty and staff were consulted with university-wide to evaluate Ross. The presidential review committee completed 27 in-person interviews and 52 online assessments.

"There was very high praise for the performance of the president," Keith said. "There were a number of significant milestones mentioned, including the union faculty contract and strategic enrollment plan success. (Participants) talked about President Ross' integrity and dedication to student success."

On Dec. 18, 2014, Ross' salary was increased 15.8 percent -- going from $371,280 to $430,000. This came after Ross was a candidate for president at University of Nebraska. Board Chair Bill Kanine said keeping the president at CMU is a high priority. 

"We value the affordability issue of school. His salary increased because he's done a tremendous job," Kanine said. "He's too humble to say this; he's got his fingers on everything that goes on at this university. He stands up and get shot at about things that don't work. That salary increase is a number, but it's well-deserved. To keep a guy with his talents, we have to be competitive." 

The review committee is required to complete an extensive review of the president every three years. The committee asked questions having to do with Ross' relationships with constituents, planning and leadership style, among other topics. Trustee William Weideman said through the interviews, there were various comments on Ross' effectiveness as a leader and CMU's capitol campaigns, a way the university reaches out to alumni for donations.

"We are in the process of creating another major capitol campaign," Ross said. "Alumni love CMU, they wear the sweatshirt, they clap along to the fight song, but they don't give. The campaign may need to start with a younger alumni group closer to the university." 

In regards to his relationships with the campus community, Ross said communication is the most challenging part of his job. 

"I have opportunities to improve my leadership in communication," he said. "I have to do a better job of accountability. What we do should be for the success of our students."

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Sydney Smith is a super-senior at Central Michigan University. She comes from metro Detroit ...

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