Trustees vote to boost salary, housing allowance for Sweet
Trustees noted that Sweet has helped increase enrollment and settle contract disputes.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Dr. David C. Sweet's efforts to lead Youngstown State University into a "strong and vibrant" future have earned him a pay raise.
On Tuesday, the YSU trustees voted to increase Sweet's annual salary as university president 6 percent from $192,000 to $203,520. Trustees also increased Sweet's annual housing allowance 38.9 percent from $36,000 to $50,000.
His $7,200 annual car allowance remains unchanged.
The total compensation package amounts to $260,720. The raise is retroactive to July 1, the first day of YSU's fiscal year.
The vote to increase Sweet's salary came a day after he predicted that a "strong and vibrant" YSU will become a national model for student-centered, comprehensive, urban universities by 2008. He made the prediction during his annual state of the university address.
Trustee Eugenia Atkinson said she felt Sweet deserved the raise. She noted that Sweet has helped to increase enrollment at YSU while also working to settle the university's contract disputes.
"You have to recognize the work people do," Atkinson said.
Enrollment was up 3.9 percent in fall 2001 over fall 2000, the largest increase since 1990. This year, enrollment is up 3.7 percent over 2001.
Sweet said he wanted to increase enrollment 5 percent each year.
Strike threats, settlement
University officials had been concerned that the threat of strikes by YSU's classified staff and faculty unions could hurt enrollment. The strikes were settled before the start of the school year.
As a result of the settlements, trustees had to increase the amount of money budgeted for contracts this year by $780,000 over last year. The university could have a $1.8 million budget shortfall this year as a result of state budget cuts and the re-allocation of state funding to universities.
Walt Ulbricht, YSU's executive director of marketing and communications, stressed that despite Sweet's raise, he has one of the lowest salaries of university presidents in northeast Ohio. Ulbricht noted that the president of Kent State University will receive a salary of $244,743 this year; the president of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, $250,000; the president of Cleveland State University, $260,000; and the president of the University of Akron, $272,826. He provided no information on the other presidents' housing or auto allowances.
Sweet's last raise came in September 2001, when he received a 3.7-percent increase in salary. He is the highest-paid administrator at YSU.
Trustee Chander Kohli said he hopes Tuesday's raise will show Sweet that university officials appreciate his work.
Also at Tuesday's meeting:
John Habat, vice president for administration, said he expects to receive the results of air quality tests from Beeghly Center in the next few days. YSU officials have found evidence of mold spores in nine center classrooms that have been closed since Sept. 12.
Trustees approved the creation of four new degree programs: bachelor of science in applied science in forensic science; bachelor of science in business administration in management -- human resource management; associate of technical study in business technology; and bachelor of engineering in civil engineering. Each of the degree programs need to be approved by the Ohio Board of Regents before they can be offered to students.
Trustees announced that YSU's Rayen College of Engineering and Technology, Dana School of Music and theater department have been nationally re-accredited.