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As Kentucky Community and Technical College System faces cuts and tuition hikes, President Michael McCall receives significant perks and a post-career payday.

Kentucky Community & Technical College System Releases Details of President Emeritus Deal

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System's offices.
James McNair/KyCIR
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System's offices.

As the new -- and paid -- president emeritus of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Michael McCall will attend meetings, give advice, provide executive coaching, help hire new executives and help run a systemwide leadership academy now bearing his name.

McCall, 67, retired last week as the only president in KCTCS’ 16-year history. The KCTCS Board of Trustees, led by Lexington-Fayette County Urban League President P.G. Peeples, gave McCall a one-year deal to serve as president emeritus at his final year base pay of about $324,000. McCall’s total compensation of about $642,000 in 2013 made him one of the highest-paid community college administrators in the country.

The emeritus deal,revealed in May by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, raised the ire of teachers and administrators, as the system went on to lay off workers, raise tuition andfinish the fiscal year in the red.

Until Wednesday, McCall’s emeritus duties were described no further than “as requested by his successor.” That successor, Jay Box, is a KCTCS veteran, having served as chancellor since 2009 and as a vice president for two years before that.

“Like any organization or corporation, KCTCS needs to avail itself of hard-earned institutional knowledge to solidify a smooth transition,” Box said in a statement released Wednesday. “While the duties assigned to the president emeritus have always been envisioned as developing and changing over the course of the year, the primary concern remains the same -- the needs of the system.

“As the year progresses, additional duties for the president are contemplated and will be assigned as the needs of our system dictate,” he added.

Box also cited the McCall Leadership Academy. He said it “provides the opportunity for selected faculty and staff to foster leadership skills and professional growth while considering the varied and complex strategic issues facing two-year colleges.” He said McCall will also help individual KCTCS colleges develop their own local or regional leadership programs.

At least four other public colleges in Kentucky, including the University of Kentucky, have their presidents emeriti serve on an honorary basis. They are not paid for their service.

Reporter James McNair can be reached at jmcnair@kycir.org and (502) 814.6543.