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Ivy Tech renews president's contract

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Ivy Tech Community College has renewed the contract of President Thomas Snyder for an additional three years.

The college, which has 23 campuses in Indiana, said Monday morning that trustees unanimously voted to extend his original agreement, which was set to expire following the 2010-2011 school year. The new deal concludes June 30, 2014.

His annual salary of $300,000 remains unchanged from past years.

“They didn’t have to twist my arm to agree to it,” Snyder said. “The board suggested that, ‘Let’s not wait until January. If you’re amenable, we’d like to have the continuity of leadership for the foreseeable future.’ There’s a lot of work to be done here.”

Snyder, 66, joined Ivy Tech in 2007 and has been at the helm during an unprecedented rise in enrollment. The number of students enrolling at the college has skyrocketed 50 percent in the past two years—from 79,366 in spring 2008 to 119,773 in spring 2010.

As the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college, Ivy Tech’s growth mostly can be attributed to more unemployed Hoosiers returning to the classroom as they seek new careers.

To alleviate overcrowding, the college has embarked on an expansion of its downtown Indianapolis campus in which it is tearing down parts of the former St. Vincent Hospital to build a $40 million classroom building.

The building was a hospital until 1974, and Ivy Tech has owned it since 2006. The project should be finished in 2012.

In Anderson, Ivy Tech plans to build a $20 million campus along Interstate 69. The new branch will be on a 40-acre strip of farmland between 60th Street and Interstate 69, west of Exit 26.

“The demand for Ivy Tech has been well-documented as has the financial situation of our state. Yet Ivy Tech continues to respond to the needs of Hoosiers,” Ivy Tech State Trustee Kaye H. Whitehead said in a prepared statement. “It is clear that Tom Snyder’s leadership in Indiana has been critical during these changing times.”

Snyder, an Anderson native and veteran manufacturing executive, took over the president’s position from Gerald Lamkin.

Before running the Flagship Energy Systems Center in Anderson, a small-business incubator, Snyder was a CEO of Anderson-based auto-parts maker Remy International Inc., where he’d spent the previous 20 years.

He also spent six years in the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant.

At Ivy Tech, Snyder so far has navigated the college through a 10-year accreditation process. He was recognized nationally by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of seven community college presidents making a difference.

A survey released in January by the trade publication showed compensation raises for chief executives at public schools shrinking in 2008-2009, rising a relatively modest 2.3 percent.

Snyder saw his compensation decline 1 percent, thanks to a drop in his retirement pay. His $300,000 salary remained the same.

Since arriving at Ivy Tech, Snyder has applied several cost-saving measures that have resulted in nearly $40 million in savings. The savings have enabled the college to hire more than 350 faculty and staff members during the past few years of growth.

 

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