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President Graham Spanier gets contract extension at Penn State

Penn State University
June 5, 2010
Penn State's Board of Trustees has agreed with President Graham Spanier on a three-year extension of his existing contract, keeping him at the helm of one of the nation's leading research universities until 2015. Spanier's contract extension will take him one year beyond Penn State's recently announced $2-billion capital campaign, scheduled to conclude in 2014, which focuses on providing greater opportunities for Penn State students.

With this extended contract, Spanier would become the second-longest serving Penn State president in the school's 155-year history, tied with Ralph Hetzel, who served from 1927-1947. The longest serving president in the University's history is eighth president George Atherton, who had a 24-year tenure. Spanier was named Penn State's 16th president in 1995, and is currently one of the senior university presidents in the nation.

"Graham Spanier has done a tremendous job leading Penn State and exceeding the very high expectations we have set for the president of this great student-centered University," said Steve Garban, chairman of the Board of Trustees. "It takes a talented individual to balance the many complexities of this enterprise, and Graham has moved Penn State forward in every area. He has the full support of our board."

Garban indicated that as a world-class research university and a member of the Big Ten, Penn State is a leader both nationally and internationally. Its 24 campuses, including an academic health center and medical college and a law school, make it one of the most comprehensive universities in the world. Spanier oversees a budget of nearly $4 billion, an enrollment of more than 94,000 students and nearly 46,000 employees. Applications for admission are expected to exceed 115,000 this year.

With the assistance of a higher education compensation expert, the board set the terms of the new contract with a salary of $700,000. The new contract is effective July 1.

"This is a wonderful vote of confidence and support from the board," Spanier said. "I have always said that this is the greatest job in American higher education and I plan to continue to give my absolute best to Penn State, its students and our faculty and staff. I'm deeply committed to advancing our University even further."

Since 1995, when Spanier came on board, research expenditures have more than doubled from $344 million to more than $765 million last year, and the University's endowment has grown from $364 million to $1.4 billion. Under his leadership, Penn State embarked on its largest capital construction program, creating some of the University's newest signature buildings.
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