BOT may renew Glassman’s contract with 10 percent raise

Analicia Haynes, Senior Reporter

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Eastern President David Glassman’s contract is up for renewal and will include a 10 percent increase if approved by the Board of Trustees at its Friday meeting.  

The meeting will be at 1 p.m. in the University Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The Board is considering a two-year renewal of the president’s contract which will run from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2022.  

Included in the contract is an annual salary market-based adjustment of 10 percent and an additional benefit of an executive physical.  

All other terms in the contract will remain the same.  

A copy of his contract renewal was not posted in the report to the Board.  

In other business, the Board is expected to approve a 2.3 percent increase in room and board rates for fiscal year 2021.  

The per-semester rates are based on double occupancy in residence halls and depend on the meal plan options that students have.  

For example, a student living with a roommate in a double room in one of the residence halls and has the seven-meal plan option currently pays $4,447 per semester. The proposed increase for this option is $103 and if approved the student will pay $4,550 starting in fall 2020.  

The proposed increase for a 10-meal plan option is $107 making it $4,932 per semester starting in the fall 2020 semester; the 12 meal plan option is $111 making it $4,932; the 15-meal plan option is $116 making it $5,131; and the unlimited meal plan option is $122 making it $5,415.  

Summer room and board rates will also increase as well. Off campus housing rates such as the University Apartments or University Court will not increase.  

Housing and Dining Director Mark Hudson said the driving factor for the room and board increase was the minimum wage increase.  

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Illinois increased to $9 an hour and by Jan. 1, 2021 it will increase to $11.  

This year’s minimum wage increase was built into this fiscal year’s budget (FY20), Hudson said, which cost Housing and Dining about $90,000.  

Housing and Dining has a $21 million budget planned for next year. 

Hudson said they budgeted for next year’s minimum wage increase, which adds about $364,000 to FY21 student payroll budget.  

That budget is about $2.2 million, Hudson said, and includes the anticipated $364,000 resulting from the $11 minimum wage increase.  

Housing and Dining hires the most students compared to any other deparatment on campus. 

About 800 students work in housing and dining year-round, that includes summer positions such as conference assistants and yearly positions like resident assistants, night assistants, desk assistants and dining center positions.  

He said students employed are virtually all on minimum wage except those who get paid slightly more because they supervise other students in the dining centers.  

The minimum wage increase does not apply to the full-time employees at this time since they are already paid more than the minimum wage, he said. However, Hudson said adjustments are expected to happen as the minimum wage continues to rise over the next few years, until it reaches $15. 

The FY21 payroll budget for full-time staff is $5.2 million, making Housing and Dining’s personnel budget about $7.4 million.  

Hudson said since housing and dining is a stand-alone auxiliary, meaning it has its own budget funded by people who pay for housing and dining services, it does not receive any state funds or money from tuition.  

It must pay all its employees from its budget, which is why Hudson said increasing the rate is necessary to cover these new expenses.  

“You can see why that would be a big impact to the bottom line,” Hudson said.  

No student job positions were eliminated either, because Hudson said they need that number of students to operate.  

“We’ve got to make it work,” he said.  

Other factors that influenced the rate increase include an increase in energy costs and performing several projects to enhance the on-campus housing experience such as accelerated wi-fi enhancements and buying new mattresses for all the residence halls.  

 Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]