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The Golden Parachute

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Phyllis Wise is stepping down as chancellor of the University of Illinois, in no small part for her utterly disastrous handling of the Stephen Salaita firing, which Farley covered earlier today. She is really suffering as result:

Wise leaves on the cusp of her final contract year that would pay her $549,068 – making her one of the highest paid public employees in Illinois. She is said to be moving into a faculty job at more than $250,000 annual salary.

According to her original contract, a $500,000 bonus was to be payable after completing five years of service – which she wouldn’t hit until 2016 – or if she was terminated by the U of I Board, the money would be prorated.

However, a university spokesman told the I-Team “she will receive a prorated $400,000 of the retention compensation in a negotiated agreement.”

Wise’s actual faculty salary will be up to the U of I Board of Trustees. But her current deal states that if she returns to a faculty position, she is entitled to a nine-month sabbatical, so she may be paid an additional $250,000 or so for not actually teaching the next year.

I hope she can recover from this blow to her career, perhaps by purchasing a Caribbean island.

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