Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Golden Parachute

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.
Wise announced 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.

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