New Contract Approved for MU President Stephen Kopp

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today approved a new five-year contract for Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp during a special meeting at its offices in Charleston.

Marshall’s Board of Governors, during its regular meeting June 18, approved the new contract proposal and then submitted it to the HEPC for approval, which came today.

“The leadership of President Kopp continues to transform Marshall into an institution recognized for excellence and innovation,” said board chairman Verna Gibson. “We are confident his vision and plans for the coming years will continue the current momentum.”

Incoming board chairman Dr. Joe Touma said Kopp realizes the importance of strong leadership in accomplishing the University’s goals.

“President Kopp has attracted and retained talented and strong leadership in critical areas with a focus on enhanced student achievement while advancing new degree programs that prepare our students for careers in a rapidly changing global economy,” Touma said.

Board vice-chairman John Hess, also chairman of the board’s finance committee, said Kopp has made wise financial decisions since arriving at Marshall seven years ago.

“The financial health of the university has continued to improve, ruled by record freshman enrollment and strong fiscal management,” he said. “We are even more excited and committed to what we can achieve under his continued leadership.”

Effective July 1, Kopp’s salary will increase from $275,000 a year, plus additional compensation of up to $50,000 a year from private sources, to $390,000 a year. Upon favorable completion of a formal written performance evaluation as required by the HEPC, and due in or about October 2013, Kopp’s salary will increase to $430,000, effective July 1, 2014. He also would be eligible for regular salary increases as adopted by the Board of Governors for non-classified employees. On June 30, 2017, the board will grant Kopp tenure in the College of Science at the rank of professor.

“Jane and I discovered the true meaning of home here at Marshall University and in the Huntington community,” Kopp said. “We are honored to have had the privilege of serving Marshall these past seven years, and look forward to many more years of dedicated work to advance the progress of our great University. At the same time, while we believe we have made significant progress in helping move the University forward, we know there is a lot more work to do and we are committed to doing it. I thank the members of the Higher Education Policy Commission, our Board of Governors, and the Marshall University community for their continued confidence and support.”

Kopp was named MU’s 36th president on June 15, 2005. If he remains as president for the entire length of the contract, he will become one of the longest serving presidents in Marshall history with 12 years of service. Only Stewart H. Smith at 22 years (1946-1968) and Lawrence J. Corbly at 19 years (1896-1915) served longer terms. Morris Shawkey served 12 years (1923-1935).

Under Kopp’s leadership, Marshall has expanded on numerous fronts, most obviously in its physical plant, but also academically. Since 2005, MU has completed more than $200 million in capital projects, with another $114 million in ongoing or upcoming projects.

Academically, several new high demand majors or programs have been launched since 2005. Two of those are debuting this year. The first class of 29 students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program began classes on May 21, and the first class of up to 80 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins in August.

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