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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine M. Gobbo

FAU’s Board of Trustees Approves President-Elect MJ Saunders’ Employment Agreement
Saunders to commit $50,000 towards FAU President’s Challenge, an initiative to support student scholarships

            BOCA RATON, FL (May 26, 2010) – The Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees reviewed and gave final approval on President-Elect Mary Jane Saunders’ employment agreement.  Saunders will begin her term at FAU beginning Monday, June 7.

            Highlights of the employment contract include the following:  a five-year agreement commencing on June 7, 2010; appointment as a professor within FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science with tenure; annual salary of $345,000 with standard employment benefits, making her the sixth highest paid president in Florida’s 11-member State University System; a deferred retirement benefit equal to 15 percent; and an annual performance bonus of no more than $50,000 upon accomplishment of specific bonus goals to be set by the board chair annually. 

            Recognizing the importance of scholarship support to students at FAU, an exciting, new initiative led by Saunders and key leaders from the FAU Foundation Board of Directors was launched.  The FAU President’s Challenge was created to match new and increased gifts to the university designated for annual scholarship support.  Saunders has committed $50,000 to launch this initiative.   Scholarships have become even more critical for students with the decline in the economy and often play a key role in whether or not students can attend the university.

            “The FAU President’s Challenge is an initiative that is extremely important to me,” said Saunders.  “The generosity of others also will help in building this scholarship fund so we can continuously offer support to students in need at FAU.”

            “With this generous gift, President Saunders is leading by example,” said Pete LoBello, chair of the development committee of the FAU Foundation Board.  “Her challenge sends a clear message to our community that student scholarship is a priority, her priority.  On behalf of the FAU Foundation Board, we accept this challenge and look forward to helping her lead the charge.”

            Saunders was selected as FAU’s sixth president on March 3.  She previously served as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Cleveland State University.

- FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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