Regents renew Utterback's contract, hand him raise also.

The Seminole State College Board of Regents during their December meeting discussed renewing a consulting contract, considering authorizing raises for full-time employees and reviewing the terms of the President’s employment.

During his President’s Report, Dr. Jim Utterback informed the Board of personnel updates and campus activities.

The Regents reviewed and approved the College’s contract with Suzie Brewster & Associates for consulting services in Washington, D.C. Utterback told the Board the Brewsters have had good success over the last several years working on the College’s behalf to secure supplemental federal funding.

Utterback said, “A large portion of the College’s outreach efforts and funding are tied to federal programs. It is important for us to have a liaison in Washington D.C. to keep us informed of changes, developments and opportunities in these areas.”

The board authorized an average raise of 4.2 percent for full-time employees. To reward longevity with the institution, a percentage raise of 2 percent will be awarded to employees who have been at SSC for one through four years; a 4 percent raise will be given to those who have worked from five through nine years; and a 6 percent raise will be given to employees who have been worked at SSC for t10 or more years. The raises will go into effect January, 2014.

Utterback stated that the College’s employees are its most important resource. He said that raises have not been given across-the-board since 2008.

The awarding of raises mirrors actions taken by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education last summer, and the Oklahoma House of Representatives recently, to reward their staff with raises.

Utterback said, “We have been extremely frugal with our internal use of funds. Our budget situation is stable and the timing is good to take this step. I appreciate the Board’s support of this effort.”

The board went into executive session to discuss terms of employment for the president’s 2014 contract. After returning to open session, the Board voted to renew Utterback’s contract with a 6 percent increase and a payment of $14,000 for additional special duty pay.

Board Chair David Wilson said, the President has previously declined accepting a raise while budget constraints kept other employees’ salaries flat.

Wilson said, “We appreciate Dr. Utterback’s dedicated service to this institution. Next to OU President David Boren, he is the longest serving president in the state of Oklahoma. We also appreciate his desire to stay at Seminole State College.”

He added, “I have served on the Board for the past 15 years, starting a couple of years after Dr. Utterback arrived in Seminole. In that time, there have been tons of improvements on this campus. Dr. Utterback is quick to say that is not due soley to him – but, we acknowledge that is his leadership. There is an obvious pride among the folks that work here.”

Utterback thanked the board and stated that he was honored to serve as president.

“I want to say publicly how much I appreciate the support of the board,” said Utterback. “As I complete my seventeenth year at SSC, it is exciting to reflect on the accomplishments of the institution during these years. I hope the Board, and everyone associated with the College, will take great pride in the successes of this outstanding institution.”

Several items were approved on the consent agenda: the approval of the Annual Assessment Report, approval of the 2014-2015 Academic Calendar, two Academic Program Modifications

Members present at the meeting were: Chair David Wilson, Marilyn Bradford, Karen James, Mike Ervin, Marci Donaho and Curtis Morgan.

The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2013.