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Hawkeye Community College board approves 3.5% boost in president's compensation
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Hawkeye Community College board approves 3.5% boost in president's compensation

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Todd Holcomb

Holcomb

WATERLOO — Hawkeye Community College President Todd Holcomb’s salary and benefits are growing by 3.51%.

The board of trustees approved an $8,000 increase in Holcomb’s salary and extended his three-year contract following a 20-minute closed session. That boosts his annual base salary to $254,500 effective July 1, when the new fiscal year starts.

Along with other benefits including a vehicle allowance, retirement plan contribution, and expense reimbursement, Holcomb’s total compensation for the next year will be $280,880. That is a $9,520 increase from his salary and benefits of $271,360 during the current fiscal year.

“Which we think is fair compensation for what has happened and how he has led this college,” board chairman Jay Nardini said before the vote, speaking on behalf of the trustees. “We are all very pleased with Dr. Holcomb. And I would go as far to say that he is the perfect person for the job with what has happened in the past year.”

Cedar Falls at-large councilman Dave Sires uses forklift to raise tent poles as a crew sets up for the Sturgis Falls Celebration.

The board approved the increase unanimously, with five of the nine trustees in attendance at the meeting. Last month, trustees also met in closed session for about 40 minutes to evaluate Holcomb’s performance.

Nardini was referencing Holcomb’s leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, which first hit Iowa in March 2020. It caused the community college to move classes online last spring and take a number of other measures in the time since to protect students and staff from the virus.

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While working for Miami University in Ohio years ago, Holcomb helped lead a crisis response team, which he said was a “very beneficial experience” to have gone through ahead of dealing with COVID-19. “Who knew I was going to come here and have a pandemic,” he said.

“I love Hawkeye Community College,” he told trustees. “It’s been a great fit for me. It’s been a great challenge for me.”

Holcomb is starting his third year as president of Hawkeye. He was hired with an annual salary of $246,500, starting on July 1, 2019, plus other benefits for total compensation of $261,500.

For the coming year, the board boosted his vehicle allowance from $8,400 to $9,600. Trustees also added $320 to Holcomb’s annual retirement plan contribution, bringing it to $10,180 or 4% of his base salary. His annual expense reimbursement is remaining at $6,600.

Holcomb’s 3.51% total compensation increase is above what other college employees are receiving for the next year. His salary not including benefits grew by 3.25%.

In April, the board approved a 3% wage increase for all college staff, full- and part-time. That included faculty, who are represented by the Hawkeye Professional Educators Association. The association is in the midst of a three-year contract where a 2.75% raise had been negotiated for the coming year.

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Education Reporter

I cover local schools and higher education for The Courier, where I’ve been a reporter for the past two decades. I’m a Minnesota native and have previously worked for newspapers there and in Illinois.

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