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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Interim administrator contracts are similar to those of their predecessors

While interim Chancellor Hank Foley and interim UM System President Mike Middleton make the same amount of money as those who came immediately before them, their contracts vary in page length and formality.

With Mike Middleton and Hank Foley’s appointments as interim UM System president and interim chancellor, respectively, each signed new employment agreements that outlined their new job duties and compensation. These contracts, obtained by The Maneater through an open-records request, resembled those of their predecessors, UM System President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, but included several changes.

Interim administrators in the top roles of MU and the UM System are making a similar amount of money, on average, as their predecessors did.

Contracts for interim Chancellor Hank Foley and interim UM System President Mike Middleton, obtained by The Maneater through an open-records request, resemble the employment agreements of former Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and former UM System President Tim Wolfe, who both resigned on the same day in November 2015 following months of race-based protests on campus.

While Wolfe received an annual base salary, Middleton receives a monthly salary of $39,795.30 because there is “no definitive length of the agreement” and he might not be interim president for a full year, UM System spokesman John Fougere said in an email. Multiplied out to 12 months for comparative purposes, this equals an average annual salary of $477,544. This is an amount identical to the annual salary Wolfe’s contract detailed for the 2015-16 school year, according to previous Maneater reporting.

Unlike Middleton’s monthly salary, Foley receives an annual salary of $459,000, according to the contract. During the 2015-16 school year, Loftin also was slated to receive $459,000, according to previous Maneater reporting.

Foley’s contract is a one-page letter from Middleton explaining to whom Foley should report and the compensation he will receive. Foley agreed to the terms by signing the letter, and wrote a note to Middleton that said, “Thanks Mike! – Hank.” This agreement is in contrast to Loftin’s four-page contract that detailed his job duties, compensation and terms of termination.

The contract states that Foley’s responsibilities are those “customarily associated with the role of chancellor as well as those additional duties assigned to [Foley] by [Middleton].”

While Foley’s contract is one page, Middleton’s is 16 pages and contains 25 clauses, each written in detailed legal language. His contract is similarly worded to [Wolfe’s contract] (http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2015/12/5/inside-wolfes-contract-job-duties-salary-and-addit/), with some sections identical to Wolfe’s. Under the agreement, Middleton is granted many of the privileges Wolfe enjoyed, such as “performance-based compensation” and housing and automobile allowances.

There are minor tweaks in the contract, mostly due to the temporary state of Middleton’s position.

According to his contract, Wolfe received “longevity-based compensation,” whereas according to Middleton’s contract, Middleton receives “continuity-based compensation.” Essentially, both receive compensation based on their time spent in the position, but Wolfe’s was based on how long he chose to remain in the position, whereas Middleton’s is based on how long his position continues.

“While Foley is also an interim as chancellor, he was already drawing an annual salary for his previous positions at MU and the UM System, and his salary was merely adjusted upward to make it equivalent to the previous chancellor,” Fougere said.

Middleton and Foley’s contracts both supersede all other agreements with the university until their positions are permanently filled.

Edited by Claire Mitzel | cmitzel@themaneater.com

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