NMC trustees approve contract amendments for president

TRAVERSE CITY — The Board of Trustees for Northwestern Michigan College unanimously approved contract amendments for President Timothy J. Nelson at its regular monthly meeting today citing significant advancements for the college under Nelson’s leadership.

The Presidential Performance and Compensation Committee compared Nelson’s contract in 2015 to national benchmarks and found his contract to be below the mean average. The new contract will include the following:

  • The term will run for five years from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021.
  • Compensation will be benchmarked against the mean average using College and University Professional Association (CUPA) data for CEO of a Single Institution/Campus within System. It should be noted that this benchmark is the second lowest average of the national benchmarks examined. Using this benchmark, the mean average indicates his salary should be $205,328, compared to the current amount of $186,684.
  • President Nelson’s salary will be moved to the benchmark over a two-year period and checked in the third year similar to the process for staff and administrators.
  • Salary changes will occur on January 1 of each year as they do with all other NMC employees. The first increase to $196,006 will occur January 1, 2017.
  • Annual percent increases will be the same as those provided to staff and administrators.
  • Additional vacation days have been added with the proviso that President Nelson take a required number of consecutive days off for rest and recharging. The number is 10 days in each of the first two years and 20 days in each of the remaining three years.
  • An Executive Health Program to be reimbursed by the college has been restored to the contract.
  • An arbitration clause and process has been added to settle any disputes.
  • The rest of the contract terms are consistent with prior years.

Board Chair Kennard Weaver said, “President Nelson has an incredible vision for this college leading the future of higher education for this region and beyond. He has consistently executed on that vision during his tenure. Our learners today, and for years to come, will benefit from his leadership.”

Some of Nelson’s accomplishments during his 16 years at the college include:

  • Guiding NMC to become the first community college in Michigan to offer its own baccalaureate degrees, including four majors in maritime and marine technology.
  • Obtaining national rankings in Veterans support, unmanned aerial vehicle education, culinary arts, marine technology and more.
  • Achieving national accreditation in nursing.
  • Directing $80 million of construction work on new and renovated facilities.
  • Launching the Global Opportunities Fund and set NMC on the leadership pathway for international experiences and partnerships.

President Nelson said, “This college has made great strides to become a leader both nationally and internationally while empowering the learners of our region to achieve great success. I am honored to be part of a team of outstanding faculty, staff, administration, Board of Trustees and community members dedicated to this goal.”

Release Date: September 26, 2016

For More Information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination