The Rowan University Board of Trustees, citing a desire to “ensure continuity in leadership and stability for Rowan,” has extended President Ali Houshmand’s contract through the 2022 school year.
When asked if he was surprised by the decision, Houshmand responded via email, “The board chairman and I have a very close working relationship. I was not really surprised, but certainly honored to be asked to continue to serve the university.”
Under the previous contract, Houshmand’s term was to conclude in June 2017.
Houshmand has been integral to the changes taking place at Rowan University. He was involved with the creation of Rowan Boulevard, Holly Pointe Commons, the new engineering building, and the additions to West Campus. He also oversaw the co-founding of Cooper Medical Center of Rowan University in Camden.
He has also kept pace with Rowan’s plan to increase enrollment to 25,000 students by 2023, and has kept his promise of keeping tuition hikes below inflation.
“My primary goal is to continue to improve access and the quality of our offerings, keep tuition at a relatively affordable level and continue to have the university serve as an economic engine for the region,” Houshmand said in an email.
“That would require us to increase our annual fundraising efforts and continue to add new degree programs while increasing enrollment. Our goal is to have 25,000 by 2023 – that’s 7,000 more students than we have today.”
The extended contract will give Houshmand a raise of $25,000 in 2018, his first raise since beginning as President in 2013. The contract stipulates an additional raise in 2020 to bring his annual salary to $600,000.
The revised contract also includes the creation of two retirement plans that Rowan University will fund for President Houshmand. The first plan will be funded to the maximum allowed by the IRS, currently set at $265,000, and the second plan will fund $79,720 for each year of the contract.
The extended contract keeps in place an existing retirement account for Houshmand which is funded in-part by $141,000 from state funds.
When asked if he expects there to be more campus parking by the time his contract expires in 2022, Houshmand replied, “We added a lot this year that no one uses right now. I think that as the years pass, we will add more spaces, but the culture will change on this campus and people will utilize remote lots and ride bicycles to get around.”
Houshmand, who was brought to Rowan University in 2006 as the senior vice president of academic affairs, was made interim president in 2011 following the departure of President Donald Farish.
Houshmand was appointed president in 2013.
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