Trustees increase Bell's benefits
Staff Writer | June 24, 2010 9:00 PM
COEUR d'ALENE - North Idaho College trustees approved the renewal of President Priscilla Bell's contract, adding $3,500 to the amount the college contributes annually to Bell's supplemental retirement plan.
The college already pays $15,000, in agreement with Bell's 2009 contract, into a 403(b) tax-sheltered retirement plan available to public education organizations.
"That is the only change to the contract from last year. It is for the board to review and consider, and I'm here to ask the board to consider a motion to approve the proposed contract," said Marc Lyons, NIC's attorney.
The four trustees present - Judy Meyer, Mic Armon, Ron Vieselmeyer and Rolly Williams - voted unanimously in favor of the renewal and change.
Board chair Christie Wood was absent.
The president's contract is for two years, but is renewed annually. The new agreement is effective through July 2012.
Bell's renewed contract includes her annual salary of $152,250, a housing allowance of $12,000, the supplemental retirement contribution of $18,500, payment of a $7,168 annual premium for a long-term care policy, and payment of Bell's car lease of $8,699.
In addition to Bell's individual compensation package of $198,617, there are standard employee benefits paid on Bell's behalf - state and federal employment taxes, $8,228 for medical and dental insurance, and a $22,057 contribution to an optional retirement plan.
The college's total cost to employ Bell next year is $239,472.
NIC does not make 403(b) contributions on behalf of any other staff, although all full-time employees may elect to contribute through payroll deductions.
"It's 100 percent voluntary, a good way for them to tax-defer some compensation," said Wade Larson, NIC's human resource director.
Although the cost of NIC's employee health insurance plan went up by about 10 percent, employees will see little change in their paychecks.
The college recently saved $200,000 on the cost of its health insurance plan, Larson explained, by switching carriers.
Next year NIC employees will be paying less for their health insurance than they were in 2007, he said.
The college did not increase contributions to cover additional costs on Bell's health insurance which is not provided by NIC.
"She retained a plan that costs us less than it would if she were on our plan, so there are some trade-offs in the fine print," Larson said.
The national average salary of a community college president is $165,000, according to a report released earlier this year by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Prior to leading NIC, Bell was president of Fulton-Montgomery Community College in New York and six years at Highline Community College in Washington.
Bell's total compensation is in line with that of the state's two other community college presidents.
Jerry Beck, president of the College of Southern Idaho, receives an annual salary of $166,000 per year.
Beck has been the Twin Falls community college's top official since 2005. Previously, he was CSI's executive vice president and chief academic officer.
His current contract, effective July 2009 through June 2012, includes a housing allowance of $14,400, a $600 monthly automobile allowance and another $600 per month for incidental business expenses.
That brings Beck's compensation, not including standard employee benefits to $194,800.
"The board has not set compensation for the president for next year yet. It may happen at our July 19th board meeting," reported Mike Mason, CSI's vice president of administration.
CSI also makes an employer contribution of 11.4 percent, or $21,506, to PERSI (Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho) on Beck's behalf.
The college's total cost, including standard employee benefits, to employ Beck this year was $237,836.
At the College of Western Idaho, the state's newest community college in Nampa, Berton Glandon is finishing his first year as president with an annual salary of $175,000.
Glandon's tenure at CWI began in July 2009, immediately following a 7-year presidency at Arapahoe Community College in Colorado. From 1981 to 2002, he was president of Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore.
Glandon's regular compensation package at CWI includes a $12,000 housing allowance, and a $6,000 car allowance, which brings his individual compensation to $193,000.
In addition, Glandon's mobile phone expenses are paid at 100 percent.
Standard employee benefits to Glandon include a $13,668 retirement fund contribution, health, dental and short term disability premiums, and payment of state and federal taxes.
Glandon's first contract also includes up to $15,000 for moving expenses.