Monday, October 24, 2005
OK, so I lied.:
It's officially over.
He's gone for good. "Resigned" as professor and as president. Almost a million in buyout, minus what he's owed, so only a half million (less than one year's salary) net. The almost 3 million deferred appears to be on the up and up. I believe Gottschalk when he says:
It should be clearly understood that these balances accumulated over the period of his employment and reflect investment returns on the amounts contributed. These balances had been held in trust for Dr. Ladner's benefit as deferred compensation. No new cash payments or contributions are being made to these deferred compensation accounts other than one final payment of the annual premium that was already due in this academic year on the life insurance policy.
Should I believe this? Probably not 100%, but I would think the Board would want to keep clean financial statements from here on forward, as it reflects badly on them.
One does wonder though: Was the deferred compensation included in Ladner's salary statements? Or was he getting even more money (probably close to $1 million per year at the peak).
I do agree with Mr. Gottschalk, though, that it's time to move on. A settlement was a much better ending than a protracted lawsuit by Ladner. Now, let's find a new president, and get AU back in the news for things that don't reflect badly on my degree.
UPDATE, 12:42 AM, 9/25. There's a WaPo article out there now. I'm not going to link directly to it because that would be Express-Blog-Log whoring. It classifies the deferred payments as part of a $3.75 million dollar settlement. Again, I think that's lede burying. As Lenny Steinhorn says in the article: "If somebody's due money, the honorable thing is you pay that." And $500,000 is a reasonable expense, in my opinion, to keep Ladner from suing the university. Closure, and moving on, people, that's the important part. And yet another trustee resigns. Down to 19. At least there's now openings on the board for faculty and student representatives, should the board choose to go that way (which, now, I kind of doubt it will barring outside pressure -- Meg?)
UPDATE #2, 8:51 PM, 9/25: Meg has plenty of constructive criticism on the settlement. I may have jumped the gun in calling this reasonable, if the letter from the former trustees is to be believed (they have more credibility, but without documents, it's a he said-she said game).
I've officially moved into wait-and-see mode.
JH 7:12 PM