At its Dec. 7 meeting, Miami University's board of trustees voted to extend the contract of President David C. Hodge by five years. "The trustees realized that we have an extraordinary president who is leading Miami to an impressive future," said board president Richard Smucker. "His fit at Miami is even better than we could have imagined. His leadership skills and tireless efforts will enable Miami to enhance its position in the world of academic excellence."
Hodge is one-and-a-half years into a three-year contract. The new contract begins July 1, 2008, and extends his stay at Miami through June 2013. The contract "reflects the competitive market conditions for presidents of major universities," said Smucker. Hodge's salary will be $380,000. The contract is written to reward longevity and performance through a combination of deferred compensation and performance bonuses.
Since Hodge began at Miami he has increased access to middle- and lower-income students with the Miami Access Initiative, focused resources on the most populated freshman classes with the Top 25 Initiative and increased the capital campaign, For Love and Honor, to $500 million dollars with an emphasis on a new Bicentennial Student Center and professorships and chairs for faculty. He has presented the university with a five-year set of goals to enhance Miami's educational offerings, scholarship, national profile, regional campus programming and positive impact on the state.
"This is a phenomenal university. We treasure being a part of something so special and the opportunity to help make it even better," said Hodge. "We knew from the start that people here are incredibly supportive, welcoming, and committed, and that it was a strong community. But our experience has greatly exceeded our high expectations. Valerie and I can not imagine being in a better place at a better time. It's a great joy."
Hodge recognized and thanked two university vice presidents who are leaving Miami this month. Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services and Treasurer Richard Norman is retiring; Vice President for Information Technology Reid Christenberry is taking a position with the University System of Georgia. Norman was acknowledged by the president and board members for his diligence in handling of university assets and finances and his contributions to the profession via service to a national association. Christenberry was credited with "revolutionizing IT" at Miami through programs and improvements that saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and increased service and options for students, staff and faculty.
The board also bade farewell to Kathleen Zouhary, who finished nearly 10 years service as a trustee today.
Hodge announced the university's For Love and Honor campaign passed $319 million in commitments toward its $500 million goal. A significant goal was passed: the Farmer School of Business surpassed its $40 million goal of gifts toward a new building by $3 million.
Trustees also learned of curriculum updates at Miami's Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg as well as the campus' plans to move to a new location by 2012.
In response to an IRS resolution calling on employers to adopt an employer pick-up plan for retirement programs by January 2009, trustees voted to enact a salary reduction employer pick-up plan for all future non-elective employee contributions in the various state retirement systems.
With the retirement of Richard Norman as senior vice president for finance and business services and treasurer, trustees elected Adolph Haislar, currently senior associate vice president of finance and business services, treasurer effective Dec. 21 until the appointment of a new vice president for finance and business services is hired.
In other action, trustees:
• approved change orders for construction of the roof of the new Farmer School of Business building not to exceed $850,000. The chosen roof alternative will extend the life of the roof from 20 to 70+ years;
• approved awarding of contracts of up to $2.6 million for Western campus steam loop connections;
• approved awarding of contracts for the renovation of Harris Dining Hall East of up to $1.3 million;
• voted to keep unchanged the spending formula for distribution of income and realized gains on endowment;
• voted to revise the non-endowment fund investment policy;
• approved designation of emeritus/emerita for several faculty;
• approved recommendations of the committee on naming of campus facilities; and
• elected officers for 2008 to be the same as this year: Richard Smucker, chair; John Christie, vice chair; Kay Geiger, secretary; and David Herche, treasurer.