Interim Glendale Community College president to earn $262K

Newly hired Glendale Community College interim President Jim Riggs will earn a base salary of $220,000 during his one-year stint on campus, according to the terms of his contract released this week.

When adding in a number of allowances — including $30,000 for housing, $9,600 for vehicle expenses and $2,400 for his cellphone — his total compensation grows to $262,000.

It is significantly higher than that of his predecessor, Dawn Lindsay, who announced in April that she had accepted the top job at a community college in her native Maryland.

During the 2010-11 academic year, Lindsay earned a base salary of $195,430. The following year, she and the rest of the management staff accepted a 5% pay cut as the college worked to reduce expenditures.

Riggs was formally introduced to the Glendale community Monday at a special board meeting, during which college trustees voted unanimously to approve the new president’s contract. Board President Armine Hacopian said she believes his expertise in organizational development will be particularly valuable.

“All of us have high hopes for your leadership,” Hacopian said. “I can tell you that that particular aspect of your past experience is really critical for us.”

Riggs said he spent Monday touring the campus and meeting with staff members, and was looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.

“[It] is so, so exciting to see the kind of energy and direction that this college is going in,” Riggs said. “I really appreciate the opportunity to come and work with all of you.”

The new president is a veteran administrator. He spent the last four years at Cal State Stanislaus, where he worked with doctoral students, themselves current and future community college leaders.

Before that, he served 10 years as president of Columbia College in the Yosemite Community College District.

Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services, said Riggs’ compensation is comparable to other community college presidents in California. He noted that Riggs chose to forgo health insurance coverage, which would have cost Glendale Community College more than $20,000.

Pasadena City College President Mark Rocha earns a base salary of $230,000, according to records on the college website.

And in order to accept the job, Riggs had to temporarily relocate from Central California, prompting the housing allowance, Nakasone said.

Per rules established before the search for the interim president began, Riggs is not eligible to apply for the permanent position.


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