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Former governor Schafer officially signs on at UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota's interim president has signed his contract to begin working at UND next month. According to the contract, Ed Schafer will make $33,216 monthly and has signed on to work from Jan. 15 to June 30,...

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota’s interim president has signed his contract to begin working at UND next month.

According to the contract, Ed Schafer will make $33,216 monthly and has signed on to work from Jan. 15 to June 30, 2016.

Current UND President Robert Kelley will retire Jan. 14 after leading the college for more than seven years. In November, the State Board of Higher Education selected Schafer, a former North Dakota governor, to serve in the interim.

SBHE spokeswoman Billie Jo Lorius said in an email it took almost a month to solidify Schafer's contract because of the Thanksgiving holiday and decisions involving health care coverage.

Schafer will also receive sick leave and fringe benefits though he declined the state health plan. He will also receive an undisclosed moving allowance, which SBHE policy stipulates must not exceed one month's salary, and live in the president's house on the UND campus.

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Lorius said the amount isn't specified because it hasn't been determined whether the Schafers will bring their own furnishings to the home or use what is there.

SBHE documents show Kelley makes $371,596 annually, plus benefits. The salary is equivalent to $30,966 per month, more than $2,000 less than Schafer.

The former governor would earn an annual salary of $398,592 if he were to work an entire year.

Kelley's predecessor Charles Kupchella made about $183,000 excluding benefits annually as of 2005. During his last two years in office he received a $50,000 supplement annually from the UND Foundation and when Kelley was hired in 2008 he began receiving $300,000 annually because of a new SBHE compensation plan.

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