WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College’s board of directors unanimously voted to restructure president Debra Thatcher’s contract, which includes a nearly 18% raise, during the May 8 board meeting.
Under the new contract, Thatcher would receive a $203,500 annual salary that would increase at the same rate as other administrators. Her contract would also change to a three-year rolling contract.
UCC spokeswoman Tiffany Coleman said she was not sure whether Thatcher had signed the new contract and that there is a chance she could reject the terms of the deal.
“I’ve been really impressed with the leadership,” board director David Littlejohn said at the board meeting. He added that the new salary would be almost exactly the average of a community college president and was being offered with the hopes of keeping Thatcher at the college.
Thatcher is still on her original three-year contract of $173,000 per year. Last year, the board recommended a wage increase, which Thatcher declined in light of budget considerations.
UCC’s board of directors at the time voted unanimously to provide Thatcher with an additional week of vacation time in lieu of additional compensation.
Thatcher started at the college in 2016. Before coming to UCC, Thatcher served for two years as acting president and two and half years as provost and vice president for academic affairs of the State University of New York at Cobleskill, and in administrative roles at Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, Northern Michigan University and Salisbury University in Maryland.
Before she started working in higher education, Thatcher worked in early childhood education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of South Carolina.
Cam Preus, the executive director of the Oregon Community College Association, said salaries are based on a variety of things such as the size of the college and experience of the president.
Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario is comparable in size, according to Preus. Its president, Dana Young, earns just over $141,000 a year.
Young is in her first position as community college president.