Northern keeps Riley for year

WHEELING — West Virginia Northern Community College President Vicki Riley will remain at the school another year following action by the school’s board of governors Thursday.

The board voted 6-4 to extend Riley’s contract through June 30, 2018. If her contract is renewed next year, Riley would be offered a two-year contract at that time, according to board of governors Chairman Brann Altmeyer. Altmeyer abstained on the vote.

Voting to extend Riley’s contract were board members David Artman, Christin Byrum, Bob Contraguerro, the Rev. Darrell Cummings, Mary K. DeGarmo and Eran Motz. Voting in opposition were Larry Lemon, David Stoffel, Melanie Baker and Rosemary Ketchum.

Cummings and DeGarmo participated in the meeting by phone.

The move to retain Riley came after members met in private executive session for nearly 90 minutes. Riley signed the contract extension following the board’s approval.

Riley’s salary under the contract extension was not immediately available. West Virginia State Auditor’s Office records show she received $149,770 in total compensation during 2016.

“I am pleased to have the support of the board of governors as we continue to advance the mission of the college,” she said in a statement released following the meeting. “As always, I will work in tandem with the faculty, staff and students to make a great institution even better.”

Riley’s future at WVNCC has been in question since November, when WVNCC’s faculty senate delivered a no-confidence vote against her.

Shortly after, the board of governors formed a three-person administrative review committee to investigate the faculty’s concerns. Among these were “a lack of shared governance, a lack of transparency, unfair practices, alienation and disregard of faculty, and a lack of competent and effective leadership,” according to a statement from faculty senate President Kathy Herrington.

Nearly six months later, the faculty senate reports they have received no word from the committee as to the results of the investigation. Because of this, they called for Riley’s contract as president to not be extended.

Riley has served as WVNCC president since succeeding the retiring Martin J. Olshinsky on Jan. 6, 2016. She was first hired by WVNCC in January of 2008 to be its chief academic officer.