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Michigan Tech happy, Koubek gets raise

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Michigan Technological University President Richard Koubek talks during Thursday’s Tech Board of Trustees meeting.

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University’s president is heading into next year with a raise.

The Tech Board of Trustees approved an $11,250 base salary adjustment for President Richard Koubek Friday, amounting to a 2.5% raise. His salary was set at $450,000 in 2018.

The raise was in line with those at other peer institutions, the board said in a resolution approving the raise.

Koubek also received a $25,000 bonus for 2019 for meeting all 12 benchmarks the board had set for him before the 18-19 academic year. William Johnson, vice chair of the Tech board and head of its leadership committee, described the leadership committee meeting reviewing Koubek’s performance as a “kind of a lovefest.”

“We were very pleased with the outcome of 18-19, thrilled with Rick’s leadership,” Johnson said.

Next year’s list has 15 items — 12 tied to his base salary, and three connected to a potential bonus, Johnson said.

The 15 items are tied to plans Koubek discussed Friday to address three forces shaping higher education.

To address the perception of education moving from a public good to a private good, Koubek said the university should continue to maintain its status of providing high value. He touted a ranking published last week that had Tech at eighth among 624 public universities for best value.

Tech will also develop a high-value tuition plan this year aimed at keeping a Tech degree accessible to all, Koubek said.

“We must be an agile university that will continue to focus on high-value education,” he said.

To expand Tech’s national presence, the university is launching Husky Nation, a national recruiting initiative. Another new program is intended to boost its presence in southern Michigan. Tech is also developing a data-driven program to increase student retention.

This year also sees Michigan Tech launch the first round of initiatives in its Tech Forward program. That will include updating general education requirements and developing a five-year faculty hiring plan around Tech Forward.

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