Kuder told Patch that he’s enrolled in a three-year educational leadership doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania, which entails intensive class sessions one week each summer and a weekend every month.
“It will allow me to maintain my rigorous schedule as superintendent and balance my obligations to the district,” he said.
A public hearing on the contract change was held Monday night, but no members of the public offered comment on the matter.
According to Kuder, the contract approved on his appointment in 2011 allows $5,000 in tuition reimbursement, but negotiations with the board will determine how much the district will eventually contribute to supporting his studies.
Kuder said that he and the board have already committed to the extension of his contract through 2018. His current contract expires in June 2014, and as his salary—$155,000—is at the cap imposed by state regulations, tuition reimbursement will likely be the only area subject to negotiations.
Board President Rob Francin was not immediately available for comment.
“I think it’s always important to grow and set high expectations for yourself,” Kuder said. “I think we do that in the district and I want to be an example of that.”
Kuder said that given the executive program’s structure, which encourages students to tailor classwork to their district, and his commitment to stay on for at least the next five years, he expects his pursuit of the degree to have “a significant upside for the district.”
“I’m appreciative of the board’s trust in me, and I’m appreciative of the commitment to continuity,” he said.