The University of Vermont is in the midst of a controversy right now involving two top administrators — including former president Daniel Fogel — who will be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance money as they are being shown the door.
Between them, the two executives, who were let go following a high-profile marital infidelity scandal, will cost UVM more than half a million dollars in pay with no work done in return, according to the Burlington Free Press.
In a statement, the school’s board of trustees chairman Robert Cioffi acknowledged that the payments were controversial.
“Certainly I have heard a significant amount of anger, frustration and second-guessing around this situation,” Cioffi said in his statement, “and I completely understand the reasons for those views. I recognize that it’s a lot of money, but in the national marketplace for university presidents, it is not at all out of line.”
This kind of thing is sadly common in government.
Former state Senator Pedro Espada, ousted from his seat and now facing Federal corruption charges, managed to rack up nearly $800,000 in staffing and office expenses before being shooed from office.
And former North Country assemblyman Chris Ortloff — now serving time in a Federal prison for attempting to rape young children — still receives roughly $53,000 a year in pension payments. He’ll receive that money for the rest of his life.
It strikes me that this is the sort of thing that warrants a second look and some kind of reform, especially in an era when there’s not nearly enough taxpayer money to go around.
As always, your thoughts welcome.