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FRC board approves college president’s updated contract

During its final meeting of 2018, the Feather River College Board of Trustees voted 4-0 to amend its employment agreement with FRC President Kevin Trutna, Ph.D.

Board President Dr. Dana Ware, Vice-President Guy McNett and Trustees Bill Elliott and John Sheehan voted Dec. 13 in favor of the amendments. Newly sworn in Trustee Trent Saxton abstained.

According to an addendum document provided at the meeting, the employment agreement was amended to include the following provisions and a retirement incentive:

– The term began Jan. 1, 2019 and terminates June 30, 2022.

– The salary and expenses allowance shall reflect the FRC College District’s salary schedule adopted July 10, 2018. No step increases are to be added for the years 2020-21 or 2021-22. No doctoral stipends and no longevity stipends are to be included.

– Retirement contributions shall be amended to include: “The Board will continue to provide the Superintendent/President with his existing benefits, or equivalent coverage, upon retirement from the District combined with accepting service or disability retirement with either the (California) Public Employees’ Retirement System or the (California) State Teachers Retirement System. Upon the death of the Superintendent/President, if there is a surviving spouse, she may continue the insurance program at her own expense, according to the plan provisions and applicable guidelines.”

– All other previously agreed-upon provisions remain.

At press time, the FRC Board of Trustees anticipated further discussion of the president’s employment agreement amendments when they meet at 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, in room 871 of the Learning Resource Center. The campus is located at 570 Golden Eagle Ave. in Quincy.

According to the college administration, former FRC President Dr. Joseph Brennan retired from the campus with a similar healthcare provision after serving from 1981 to 1989.

The addendum to Trutna’s employment agreement, as approved, made no changes to his existing health benefits since he is employed full-time with the college and therefore receives coverage in that capacity.

The retirement-incentive amendments are also conditioned upon his remaining with the college district through to retirement, at which point he would retire with either of the public systems cited. Should Trutna leave FRC for another position, the agreement becomes void.

  In the agreement, the president agrees to extend his service until 2022 at the salary schedule that was approved in July 2018, forgoes any step increases, and receive no longevity bonuses and no doctoral stipends that are afforded to all other FRC employees.

In addition, as with other CalPERS and CalSTRS retirees, once eligible for federal Medicare benefits at age 65, Trutna and his spouse would be mandated to enroll in Medicare and affect a substantial drop in the cost of employer-provided medical premiums for the recipient(s). Once on Medicare as primary insurance, CalPERS and CalSTRS retirement healthcare moves into a secondary position as supplemental insurance.

With over 29 years experience in higher education, Trutna came to FRC in 2012. He has served as superintendent and president for six and a half years and frequently chairs accreditation site visits at other colleges.

The amended contract takes him through 10 years of service to the district, which is one of 15 community colleges to offer a bachelor’s degree program that produces job-ready graduates for in-demand occupations — in FRC’s case, for the equine and ranch management fields.

Contacted following the vote, Dr. Trutna commented, “My plan is to retire at FRC. I enjoy serving students and the community and I am committed to the students and this college. I can see myself working here for another decade or more.”

In conversations with the trustees, the college president said he told the board, “I love working at Feather River College and we have accomplished so much in the years that I have served as Superintendent/President. We were awarded a bachelor’s degree (program), reinvigorated an honors program, helped meet one of our largest needs with additional student housing and have one of the most solid financial standings of any college in the state.”

He further explained FRC has expanded its campus acreage, offers programs that support social justice which are recognized throughout the state, and in 2018 the college received the best accreditation review in FRC’s history.

“The longevity of my service as FRC President is due to the leadership of the board and the accomplishments of the faculty and staff,” Dr. Trutna said. “The state looks to FRC for models of exemplary programs and services. I am honored to provide leadership for such an incredible group of professionals. We have many great things ahead and I would like to be a part of the future of FRC until I retire.”

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