President Coleman’s contract extended

ESCANABA — After she received a positive performance evaluation for the 2016-17 school year, Bay College President Laura Coleman’s contract with the college has officially been extended by another year. The decision, which brought Coleman’s current contract to a total of five years, was made by the Bay College Board of Trustees during a special meeting held March 29.

Joy Hopkins, the board’s vice-chair, said the board had spoken about the possibility of extending Coleman’s contract during her performance evaluation in March. This evaluation was done in closed session.

“We had some discussions during the closed meeting… (but) we felt it was important to discuss it in open forum,” Hopkins said.

During the special meeting, members of the board spoke about the factors that played a role in their decision to extend Coleman’s contract. Among other things, the successful completion of the college’s Hub and remodeled library was taken into account.

“We are also pleased that the student persistence rate has improved,” Hopkins said.

Coleman’s annual salary, which is approximately $165,000, will remain unchanged. Her contract does contain a provision stating that her salary can be increased if the rest of the college’s staff gets ­raises.

Coleman said she was grateful that the board voted in favor of extending her contract.

“I am very honored and pleased that my contract has been extended for another year,” she said.

She also touched on her priorities for Bay College over the coming years.

“We will continue to be focused on student success and meeting the educational needs of the business community and our community as a whole,” Coleman said.

In other business during the special meeting, the board:

– heard a presentation from Michigan Community College Association President Mike Hansen. Hopkins said Hansen addressed the current state of community college funding in Michigan’s government and challenges that community colleges in the state are facing.

“There was some talk about the dark store taxes,” Hopkins said.

– approved changes to Bay’s curriculum for the Fall 2017 semester as recommended by the Student Success and Completion Committee.

– approved revisions to the board’s policy on employee behavior on second reading.