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Three-year contract for MnSCU chancellor reached in October draws fire

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Duluth News Tribune
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ST. PAUL — Monday’s announcement that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system gave its top executive a raise and a new, three-year contract — last October — drew criticism from the union that represents the faculty at seven state universities.

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Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will make $387,250 in base salary for the coming school year, a 1.8 percent increase. He also will receive a $43,160 boost to allowances for transportation and other expenses, MnSCU said.

News of the contract comes as Rosenstone is about to get a performance review. A committee, led by Hightower, will give its report to the board of trustees July 18.

A professor sent the contract to the media Friday. On Monday, MnSCU sent out a news release “due to interest from the media,” a spokesman said.

“I want to know how they expect the average Minnesota citizen to understand why they would give a contract extension nine months before they performed an evaluation,” said Nancy Black, president of the Inter Faculty Organization, which represents university faculty.

Her group already delivered Rosenstone a harsh job review, criticizing him for “the erosion of the missions of the state universities.” In a statement last week, Hightower responded by saying the board supports Rosenstone “unanimously and without reservation.”

Monte Bute, a sociology professor at Metropolitan State University, sent the letter to media and was surprised by Monday’s news release, which did not mention when the contract was signed. He said he’s concerned about that “lack of transparency.”

“For what purpose are you doing a performance review?” Bute said. “You’ve already rewarded him.”

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