YSU officials reward Sweet
The university president's total compensation will be $235,200 a year, and trustees say he deserves more.
By RON COLE
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two days after announcing the biggest enrollment increase in a decade, Youngstown State University trustees have rewarded President David Sweet with a $6,900 raise.
The 3.7 percent increase boosts Sweet's annual pay from $185,100 to $192,000.
His $36,000 annual housing allowance and $7,200 annual car allowance remain unchanged.
The total compensation package amounts to $235,200 a year.
The trustees' executive committee approved the raise Thursday after an hourlong closed-door meeting. The raise will become official after the full board votes later this month.
Trustees said they wished they could give Sweet more.
"He has done an excellent job to increase enrollment almost up to the target, and he has put together a very strong team and has demonstrated great leadership," trustee H.S. Wang said.
The challenge: Sweet made enrollment his top priority when he came to YSU in July 2000. He set a goal to raise the number of students by 5 percent by the start of fall classes last month.
On Tuesday, the university announced that enrollment was up 3.9 percent, the largest increase since 1990.
"To say that we're pleased would be an understatement," trustee Joseph Nohra told Sweet. "If there was anyway we could give you more and still be fiscally responsible, we would."
Budget issues: YSU's tight budget, half of which is funded through state allocations, is expected to get even tighter as state lawmakers struggle with ways to fund primary and secondary education. The university received a 1 percent increase in state funds this year and expects no increase next year.
"He has done what we have asked and even more, and it's unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position now, but I don't think it would be fair to Dr. Sweet for us not to do anything," trustee Chairwoman Eugenia Atkinson said.
If the budget picture brightens, Nohra recommended that trustees re-examine Sweet's housing and car allowances for additional increases.
"Those need to be considered again," he said.
Trustee William Knecht complimented Sweet for putting together what Knecht said is the best management team in YSU's history.
"The consensus of the board is that your professionalism has been superior," he said. "Not just good, but superior."
YSU's other top administrators got 3 percent raises on July 1. The next highest paid administrator is Tony Atwater, newly appointed provost, at $140,000 annually, followed by Terry Ondreyka, new vice president of finance, at $132,500.