Inside Higher Ed
August 13th, 2015
Phyllis M. Wise and Steven Salaita have something in common: both
thought they had a deal with the University of Illinois, only to see the
agreement vanish at the last minute.
On Wednesday, a committee of the university's board was expected to
approve a $400,000 agreement under which Wise resigned last week. The
committee rejected the deal and declined to accept Wise's resignation.
Instead the board notified Wise that it would start proceedings to
dismiss her as chancellor and that she would be assigned new duties
pending the outcome of those proceedings.
last week that she was leaving her position, effective today, due to
“external issues.” At the time the university confirmed that she would
receive $400,000, although she would not normally have been entitled
under her contract to that payment. She would have been owed $500,000
had she stayed on another year, completing five as chancellor. But her
contract said that board approval would be required for any bonus if she
left before that time. The $400,000 was widely viewed as a sign that
the board wanted her to resign, and provided an incentive to do so. So
the $400,000 -- while described as a deal with Wise -- required formal
board approval, which was theoretically to happen Wednesday.