Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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3/10/2010
10:55 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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5 Reasons To Raise CIO's Pay

The 30-year-old CIO of a Chicago-area public school district has a salary of $96,000 and until recently earned an additional $24,000 by serving as school-board treasurer. When the district's teachers accepted pay cuts due to budget limitations, they carped about the $24,000 stipend-so the CIO gave it up, but requested the board consider increasing his salary. Here are 5 reasons why he deserves a big raise.

The 30-year-old CIO of a Chicago-area public school district has a salary of $96,000 and until recently earned an additional $24,000 by serving as school-board treasurer. When the district's teachers accepted pay cuts due to budget limitations, they carped about the $24,000 stipend-so the CIO gave it up, but requested the board consider increasing his salary. Here are 5 reasons why he deserves a big raise.Adding to the intrigue is the fact that late last year, Batavia School District CIO Anton Inglese and his wife purchased a home owned by the school district in a sealed-bid process at a price that resulted in a loss of $187,000 for the district, according to a kcchronicle.com article. The district originally bought the house for $446,433, and sold it to the Ingleses for $259,000.

From a kcchronicle.com article:

"It was the perception of some people that the treasurer's stipend was unfair," Inglese said. "I want to make sure we are all doing what is in the best interest of the district."

Inglese, 30, who is in charge of information technology at the district, recently wrote a letter to the board stating his desire to voluntarily forgo the stipend, effective April 1. The board appointed him treasurer in May 2009. . . .

"It is my understanding that the $24,000 stipend I earn serving as your treasurer has become an obstacle to problem solving the current financial crisis, given the political environment that currently exists in the district," Inglese said in the March 3 letter.

But Inglese's letter also requested that the board consider giving him a raise to compensate at least in part for the income reduction of $24,000: "Should the board decide to adjust that amount and contract, I know it would be done in a fair, upfront and transparent fashion-in the spirit and tradition of this board-so as to assuage any political concerns surrounding my compensation and, perhaps my standing," according to the article.

I think the school board will need about 7 seconds to reach a decision on this-and that decision should be to give CIO Inglese as big a raise as they can afford and to do everything in their power to keep him within their organization for as long as possible. And here are 5 reasons why:

1) The guy is 30 years old and has reached the CIO level. Since the article didn't mention any performance issues relating to his work, we have to assume it's been at least satisfactory.

2) This 30-year-old CIO has enough financial acumen to be able to serve as treasurer for the board as well as technology leader for the district. Haven't we all heard for the last 20 years that a deficiency among many CIOs is that they don't understand financial issues?

3) Inglese didn't seek the position; the article says very specifically that the "board appointed him treasurer in May 2009." It was the school board that made the decision to appoint him, the school board that made the decision to pay him $2,000 a month to serve in the spot to which they appointed him, and the school board that later negotiated the pay cuts with the teachers. So why is it Inglese's responsibility to alleviate any friction caused by what the school board did completely on its own?

4) Inglese's voluntary 25% pay cut shows a lot of maturity and class and commitment for someone of any age, let alone a 30-year-old. And look at the wording of his letter-this guy is a born leader, and while his talents will likely take him beyond the Batavia School District in the not-too-distant future, the board would be well served to try to keep Inglese on their team for as long as possible.

5) The teachers' pay cuts have nothing to do with Inglese's compensation. If the school board felt it should eliminate the treasurer's stipend to preserve more funding for teachers' salaries, it would have made that move originally. Inglese's move is gracious and generous, but it is also unrelated to the level of teacher compensation to which the board and the teachers agreed.

To any of you out there looking to add to your rosters of CIOs-in-training: look no farther than Batavia School District CIO Anton Inglese.

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