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Southern University Board Votes Not to Extend President Mason’s Contract

The Southern University Board of Supervisors voted 9-4 Saturday against extending President Ron Mason’s contract for a year. Mason, whose contract expires in June 2015, had outlined in a letter to the board last week that he would not accept a new deal that would not allow him to hire a team of employees and consultants as he deemed necessary to elevate the university system’s status.

Mason had proposed combining the positions of system president and chancellor of the flagship Baton Rouge campus as a cost-saving measure. He indicated in his letter that he would be willing to serve in that dual capacity for three years.

Board chairwoman Bridget Dinvaut told the Times-Picayune that she would consult with board members and create a search committee to either find a new president or someone who will serve as president and Baton Rouge chancellor.

Mason has an annual salary of $374,000, a vehicle allowance of $16,000 and $36,000 for housing. His contract stipulates that he will become a tenured full-time professor at the Southern University Law Center, with a salary calculated as the average of the three highest-paid professors at the law school starting fall 2015.

Former chancellor James Llorens’ contract expired last June, and the board named longtime finance administrator Flandus McClinton Jr. to serve as interim chancellor.

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