Less than two weeks after leaving office, former Camden Mayor Dana Redd was appointed Friday as CEO of the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden board of governors, a post that comes with a $275,000 annual salary.
As mayor, she was paid $102,000 annually.
The board voted by 4-0 to give Redd, a Democrat, the job effective immediately.
“This lady is really good,” said board chairman Jack Collins. “She’s committed, she’s bright, she cares about what we are doing and how it impacts the citizens of this city.”
Redd, a former member of the board, did not attend the meeting, which lasted about 10 minutes.
In a statement, she said, “I welcome this unique opportunity… to advance health sciences education and research in Camden. Without question, the ‘eds and meds’ sector has helped Camden become an important innovation and education hub.”
Redd, 49, earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers-Camden in 1996 and a master’s degree from Lincoln University in 2015.
She will replace Kris Kolluri, who was named last month to head the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a nonprofit that oversees economic development in Camden. He will start his new job Monday.
Kolluri, a lawyer, said Redd is an “exceptional person with the right credentials, right experience, and knowledge of the city of Camden.”
Rutgers-Camden chancellor Phoebe Haddon also praised Redd’s appointment. “Kris Kolluri has been a tremendous asset, but I know Dana Redd will be terrific follow-up,” she said at the meeting
Rowan University president Ali A. Houshmand said in a statement that Redd, a former state senator, has been a leader “with an exceptional ability to articulate a vision of shared growth and then to build coalitions that achieve those goals.”
The Rowan/Rutgers board was created more than four years ago under a bipartisan plan to have Rowan absorb Rutgers-Camden, which did not happen, and to have the schools apply jointly for grants for research projects. The board is building a 95,000-square-foot Joint Health Sciences Center in Camden.
Redd is poised to collect a sweetened pension package under a bill lawmakers fast-tracked last month and sent to Gov. Christie’s desk this week. Under the bill, her annual pension would jump to about $50,000, more than 50 percent higher than what she would receive under current law.
The pension bill would only affect a few elected officials, according to lawmakers, who said the higher payouts would not burden the state’s troubled pension system, which is underfunded by about $90 billion. The bill is designed to put Redd and several others back into the more lucrative system after a 2007 law froze their pensions and their contributions were put into a 401(k)-style plan designed to save the state money.