By Tracey Haney/Managing editor

As a precursor to its Capital Campaign, Eastern’s Foundation Board funded a 21.6-percent raise for President Joanne Glasser during the summer.Chairman of the Foundation, Dusty McCoy said Tuesday the Board views the raise as a “sound investment.”

“This is not a second-class university,” McCoy said, noting it was important to the Foundation Board Eastern’s president remove the title of lowest paid university president in the state.

As a result of the raise, Glasser will earn $40,000 more than her prior salary of $185,117. Glasser’s salary is now higher than that of Morehead State, Kentucky State and Murray State University presidents.

The Capital Campaign was initiated in April and is the first in Eastern’s history. McCoy said before beginning the campaign it was important for Glasser to receive a raise because it would show potential contributors Eastern has a “good, stable leadership in place at the university.”

Glasser was a candidate for the presidency at Illinois State University in the spring, a fact McCoy said was “a part of everyone’s thinking” on the Foundation Board when the decision was made to increase her salary using private funding.

Student Government Association President Lance Melching said he can understand why some may not be happy with President Glasser’s raise, especially considering the recent 16.4 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students. However, he said it is important other factors, such as the pay scale for university presidents and the need to keep current leadership, be taken into consideration.

“I think it is in the university’s best interest to keep her here,” Melching said of Glasser.

Mark Wasicsko, dean of the College of Education, agreed with Melching.

“I haven’t met a harder worker,” Wasicsko said of the president, adding it’s a common thing for universities to use private funding to keep “highly talented individuals.”

Glasser declined efforts by the Board of Regents to fund a raise previously.

In a statement sent via e-mail from Board of Regents Chair Fred Rice, he said the Foundation’s decision to support Glasser’s leadership reflects the view of the Board.

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