State College of Florida president still waiting on contract approval

eearl@bradenton.comFebruary 27, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Although she's been on the job more than a month, State College of Florida President Carol Probstfeld still does not have a contract, although she and the board of trustees are very close to a final agreement, trustees said Tuesday.

Probstfeld said that she is enthusiastic about a contract that includes goals focused on enhancing the student experience.

The District Board of Trustees of State College of Florida Sarasota-Manatee met Tuesday night with plans to vote on the contract, but board members ultimately felt that the draft is not yet ready. They also said that they felt like they did not allocate enough time in Tuesday's meeting to go over the contract draft.

Board of trustees Chair Carlos Beruff said that one thing he would like to see in the new president's contract is compensation based on a contract year opposed to annual salary.

"We are 98 percent there," Beruff said about reaching agreements on the contract.

He did not comment further after the meeting.

The contract draft provides Probstfeld with a salary of $235,000. It also says Probstfeld will be provided with a 2008 Lexus RX 400 owned by the college for her professional and personal use.

If terminated without cause,

Probstfeld would only receive benefits and any amounts earned that had not been paid up to the date of her termination.

Probstfeld is also to get personal leave, although the draft does not state how many days.

In the meantime, Probstfeld has set a list of legislative priorities.

She is working on a matching grant program, in which benefactors see their investments grow by matching scholarship gifts dollar-for-dollar. She also is working on expanding the college's east campus, gaining funding for renovations and finding support for the dual enrollment program to offset foregone tuition.

Probstfeld is working on a plan to allow resident tuition rates to Florida residents who, due to "extraordinary circumstances" may be prevented from showing documents to prove their residency. Before being chosen as the college's sixth president, Probstfeld served as the interim president of SCF while serving as vice president, where she oversaw the $50 million operating budget.

The board of trustees has moved the date to voting on the contract to 5:30 p.m. March 18.

In other developments Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott appointed a new member to the SCF Board of Trustees. Marlen "Rick" Hager is the president of Goodwood and Stone Builders LLC. According to the governor's press release, Hager will serve on the board until May 31. His appointment must still be approved by the state Senate.

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