West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission today approved a new five-year contract for West Virginia University President James P. Clements.

By unanimous vote, WVU’s Board of Governors authorized Chairperson Carolyn Long at its Feb. 4 meeting to complete the personnel matter discussed in executive session, which included the authority to forward necessary communications and documents to the Commission on behalf of the Board. State law requires HEPC approval of all presidential contracts.

The agreement takes effect June 30, when the previous two-year contract expires. Under state law, new college and university presidents can only sign two-year contracts, but governing boards have the flexibility to extend contracts up to five years after the initial contract expires.

The new presidential contract, which puts Clements at the mid-point of his peers, calls for extending his contract through June 2016 and increasing his annual base salary from $450,000 to $550,000 in the initial year, and to $650,000 through the end of the contract in 2016. In addition, the contract calls for the Board to consider additional compensation based on performance incentives, with the approval of the Policy Commission and compensation provided by the WVU Foundation.

“This contract represents the confidence our Board has in the positive leadership provided by Dr. Clements these past two years, and signifies the stability, momentum and renewed energy he has brought to the presidency,” Long said.

Click here to download the WVU Board of Governors’ resolution on President Clements’ contract.

Click here to download President Clements’ letter of agreement.

“It is very clear that the successes under Jim Clements’ watch have been many – the building of a strong leadership team, initiating a strategic plan for the future and record-setting increases in enrollment, research and private giving, among other indicators.

“We want this University to stay on this course and to continue to grow and prosper, and that’s why we have asked Jim Clements, and he has agreed, to remain with us for many more years to come.”

BOG Compensation Committee Chair Jim Dailey added, “Our committee met on several occasions to discuss the president’s performance as well as an appropriate compensation package. There was outstanding input from all members that resulted in our collective conclusions.

“As we prepare to enter a capital campaign and implement our strategic plan for the future, we felt it was imperative that we have someone who is visionary, dedicated and respected across the state and nation guiding and leading our University,” Dailey said. “Jim Clements’ performance, in the close to two years he has been WVU’s president, has demonstrated that he possesses those qualities. And this Board is committed, like never before, to retaining and rewarding our very best leaders.”

This contract represents the confidence our Board has in the positive leadership provided by Dr. Clements these past two years, and signifies the stability, momentum and renewed energy he has brought to the presidency.

-Carolyn Long

Chair, WVU Board of Governors

In its deliberations, Dailey said the committee reviewed the compensation packages of mission peer university presidents – those who lead public land-grant, research universities with comprehensive health sciences and statewide extension services. The compensation package proposed was at the mid-point of those peers, he said.

“There are only about a dozen other universities in the country that match this organizational profile, including Ohio State, the University of Florida and Michigan State, Dailey said. “Often people need to be reminded that WVU is among this elite group. So, in addition to running a comprehensive University, our president chairs a hospital board, a health systems board, a research corporation and serves on other associations and foundations. Those entail tremendous and complex responsibilities.”

As the largest employer in the state, Daily noted, WVU and its affiliates represent a $2.3 billion enterprise and employ more than 18,000 people.

Board member and president emeritus of MIT, Charles Vest, agreed, saying, “The sun shone on WVU when Jim Clements agreed to serve as our president. President Clements has moved with amazing speed to restructure the administration and recruit the necessary new people, and especially to bring strong, nationally recognized leadership to the medical complex. He has worked effectively with the faculty and others to establish a good strategic plan for the university, and he deeply understands the role of land-grant universities, and the absolutely central role of WVU in the state’s future. He is off to a flying start and his accomplishments and value to the University and state should be recognized appropriately.”

WVU Foundation Board Chair Verl Purdy said Clements’ leadership and personal style have been critical to the University’s success.

“I’ve been involved in building organizations for over four decades, and I can tell you it is not always easy to get the right people in the right place at the right time, but WVU has this now – and it’s because of Jim Clements’ leadership. Quite frankly, he came into a very difficult situation, and immediately went to work hiring a great provost, new deans and participating in strategic fund-raising efforts and embarking on a strategic plan.

“I don’t believe all this would have been possible without his leadership, his vision and his enthusiasm and energy. He’s changed the whole face of our university; we needed him at this specific time and place in our history. It’s a great time to be at WVU, largely due to Jim Clements,” Purdy said.

Nancy DiPaolo, president of the WVU Alumni Association Board, agreed. “President Clements has been an enthusiastic, dedicated leader who has provided a solid foundation and strategic direction that will enable WVU to grow and succeed. His involvement in WVU alumni activities has further ignited the Mountaineer spirit all over the world. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the president and his wonderful family,” she said.

“I am humbled and honored by the Board’s and the Commission’s support and confidence in me, and pledge to continue serving West Virginia and West Virginia University with all the passion and energy each deserves,” said President Clements. “I love this University and so does my family. This is our home and we plan on being here for a long time and seeing this University’s shared goals and dreams realized.”

Clements came to WVU in June 2009 from Towson University, where he served as provost. Prior to that, he was Towson’s vice president for economic and community outreach and the Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He was a four-time recipient of Towson’s Faculty Member of the Year Award given by students, and was named University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Alumnus of the Year in the Engineering and Information Technology category in 2009.

In addition to overseeing WVU and its divisional campuses, Clements chairs the boards of the WVU Research Corp., the West Virginia United Health System and the WVU Hospitals. He also serves as an ex-officio member of the WVU Foundation and WVU Alumni Association boards, and is active with national higher education organizations such as the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities and the American Council on Education. Regionally, he is a board member of the University Energy Partnership and the Research University Alliance. He also co-chairs the HEPC Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative Council and the West Virginia College Completion Task Force, and serves on the board of the West Virginia Business Roundtable. Recently, he was nominated and selected to participate in the 81st Joint Civilian Orientation Conference through the U.S. Department of Defense.

Dr. Clements has an academic background in computer science. He has a B.S. in computer science and an M.S. and Ph.D. in operations analysis from UMBC, as well as an M.S. in computer science from Johns Hopkins University. The 4th edition of his project management textbook was published in four languages and used in multiple countries; the 5th edition has recently been released. At WVU, he is a tenured professor in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources’ Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.



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