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Erickson To Get 14K Per Month As Special Adviser

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Former Hocking College president Ron Erickson will continue to be paid his regular base salary during the time he serves as special adviser to the chairman of the college’s board of trustees, according to an agreement between Erickson and the board.

Erickson, who resigned last week, will be paid $14,167 per month as special adviser. His annual salary as president was $170,000, or $14,167 per month, meaning he is still making his same salary.

The agreement, which Erickson had not yet signed as of noon Monday, also calls for Erickson to receive a $600 per month automobile allowance, a cell phone allowance of up to $100 per month and an $18,700 lump-sum payment to reimburse him for contributions he has made to his retirement account. While Erickson serves as special adviser, the college will pay its and Erickson’s share of contributions to his retirement account.

Erickson also is to receive up to $8,000 to reimburse him for already-incurred professional development expenses, and as special adviser he will continue to receive health and life insurance benefits.

He is to be employed as special adviser through April 30, according to the document, unless Erickson resigns from the position or the trustees have cause to remove him.

The board’s agreement with Erickson does not describe in detail what he will do as special adviser to the board’s chairman, other than “perform special projects, and as directed, assist in the search for and orderly transition of the next college president.”

Erickson resigned as president last week, saying the time was right for him to retire and “transition into the next phase of my professional life.” His departure came at a time when the college is facing a budget shortfall expected to be between $4.2 million and $4.7 million, the majority of which is the result of declining enrollment.

Myriah Davis, the college’s vice president of administrative services, was selected to temporarily fill the role of interim president. (Davis was one of three people a 2009 state audit said improperly received $9,224 from a grant to the college. She repaid the money and was later promoted.)

On Friday, Hocking College staff members were sent a message from Board Chairman Andy Stone outlining the process that will be followed to find a new president for the college.

Although Davis is temporarily serving as interim president, Stone’s memo indicates that the goal is to quickly find an interim president from outside the college “in order to provide a fresh perspective on the immediate challenges that are before us.”

As for finding the college’s new president, the board does not intend to hire a search firm, but will “partner” with the Association of Community College Trustees.

A survey will be sent out asking Hocking College staff members to identify the qualities and characteristics they want to see in the next president.

“The goal of the board is to hire a candidate who will understand the unique needs of Appalachian Ohio,” Stone’s message to staff members reads.

A search committee will be formed from trustees, faculty, non-faculty staff and students, who will review the survey responses and develop a final list of desired qualities and a presidential profile.

The position will be advertised in national publications, and the search committee will interview semi-finalists. The finalists will be brought to campus for a series of interviews and open forums.

The goal is to have a new president hired by May 8, the end of spring semester 2015.