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Greenfield Community College

GCC board gives President Robert Pura 8.6% raise

Greenfield Community College president Robert Pura.

Greenfield Community College president Robert Pura.

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Community College board of trustees unanimously voted to give its president Robert Pura an 8.6 percent salary increase Wednesday, his first raise in years.

Pura, who has routinely declined the board’s offers to increase his salary, will now make about $193,500 a year.

According to state payroll data, Pura’s salary was slightly higher than only three of 15 community college presidents across the state — and they all started their jobs in 2012 or 2013. Two other presidents who started last year began with a higher salary than the $178,165 he had been earning.

Chairman Robert Cohn told the board that he received a call a few months ago from Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland, inquiring about Pura’s relatively low salary.

The call from Freeland, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, convinced the 13-year GCC president to accept a long overdue increase.

Now, his salary will be the 10th-highest among Massachusetts community college presidents, and he will still make about $10,000 below the state average.

Carole Cowan, president of Middlesex Community College, has the highest salary at just under $252,450.

While Pura’s salary was increased to the level it would have been had he always accepted yearly increases, he won’t be paid retroactively for any time before July 1 of this year, said Cohn.

“He’s just the best thing that ever happened to this college,” said the board chairman.

Pura thanked the trustees and said he appreciated their statement of support.

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