(a) There is continued the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education. The council has all the powers and duties assigned by law to the joint commission for vocational--technical-occupational education prior to July 1, 2001, and all other powers and duties assigned by law.
(b) The council shall employ a chancellor for community and technical college education. The chancellor serves as chief executive officer of the council at the will and pleasure of the council. The chancellor shall be compensated at a level set by the council not to exceed eighty percent of the average annual salary of chief executive officers of the state systems of community and technical colleges in the states that comprise the membership of the Southern Regional Education Board.
(c) The council shall conduct written performance evaluations of the chancellor annually and may offer the chancellor a contract not to exceed three years. At the end of each contract period, the council shall review the evaluations and make a determination by vote of its members on continuing employment and level of compensation.
(d) When a vacancy occurs in the position of chancellor, the council shall enter into an initial employment contract for one year with the candidate selected to fill the vacancy. At the end of the initial period, and each contract period thereafter, the council shall review the evaluations and make a determination by vote of its members on continuing employment and compensation level for the chancellor.
(e) The individual who was serving as Vice Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education and Workforce Development and who became chancellor effective March 13, 2004, maintains all benefits of employment held, accrued and afforded as the Vice Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education and Workforce Development prior to March 13, 2004, These benefits include, but are not limited to, retirement benefits, continued membership in the same retirement system, insurance coverage and sick and annual leave. For the purposes of leave conversion established in section thirteen, article sixteen, chapter five of this code, the chancellor is not a new employee and the prohibition on conversion does not apply if the chancellor was eligible for leave conversion while serving as vice chancellor.