ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Board of Trustees for Grand Valley State University has put its faith in President Philomena Mantella, voting unanimously during last week’s board meeting to extend her contract through June 2029.

In a news release, Acting Board Chair Megan Rydecki said she is happy to see the university’s leadership solidified for the years ahead.

“The Board of Trustees has full faith and confidence in President Mantella, not only because of her vision, pragmatism and generative mindset, but also because of her demonstrated leadership,” Rydecki stated. “She has developed innovative partnerships, maintained healthy enrollment levels and spearheaded a game-changing strategic plan in Reach Higher 2025, all while navigating a global pandemic.”

Mantella became Grand Valley’s fifth university president in 2019 and the first woman to hold that title. Her contract was set to expire in June 2024, with a decision deadline from the Board of Trustees in June 2023.

Board Chair Susan Jandernoa, who could not attend the meeting, sent a letter of support for Mantella to be entered into the meeting minutes.

“The focus on enrollment, retention, the health and well-being of our students, and sound financial management, are affirming of our intent,” Jandernoa stated.

Mantella will receive a 4.2% raise on July 1, 2024, bringing her annual salary from $480,000 to $500,000.

The university president said she is eager to continue her work to shape Grand Valley State.

“I want to thank the trustees for giving me the opportunity to lead this tremendous university, and I am grateful for the dedicated faculty and staff at GVSU who work tirelessly for our students and their futures,” Mantella said in a release. “Together, we have shaped and embraced an ambitious vision of an education that serves over a lifetime, relates to each individual and urgently advances equity for all learners.”

Before serving at GVSU, Mantella held several leadership positions on the East Coast, including Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and Pace University in New York. She held multiple positions at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, including senior vice president and CEO, before taking the position at Grand Valley.