A severance agreement between outgoing Ball State University President Paul Ferguson and the university offers some insight into what’s next for both parties, but it does not elaborate on reasons for the decision to part ways. Ferguson could receive a total of nearly $500,000 over the course of a year under terms of the deal.
The contract says March 25 will be his final day at Ball State. The document also says Ferguson has agreed that the decision to resign is "irrevocable" and that during his two-month leave, the search for the next president will begin. The board of trustees sent a notice to staff members Monday saying it has accepted Ferguson’s resignation following a two-month, board-approved sabbatical. The news came as a surprise, as Ferguson has time remaining on his current contract and had been on the job less than two years.
Financial details include:
- A $450,000 severance payment that will be made over 12 months
- Nearly $22,000 for unused vacation days
- Close to $15,000 for a year’s worth of future insurance premiums
It stipulates that if Ferguson is hired for a senior-level position in higher-education while the severance agreement is in effect, Ball State’s obligation would be reduced based on the compensation and benefits he would receive from the new institution.
The agreement does not outline reasons for what it says is a mutual decision to part ways and says discussions that led up to the decision will be kept "strictly confidential" by both Ferguson and the university. The document also states Ferguson has agreed he has not engaged in actions that would amount to the contract ending for "cause."
A letter of recommendation from the university for Ferguson was also attached and includes professional highlights relating to his time in office such as:
- A "refreshed university vision and planning process," The Centennial Commitment 18 by ’18, in advance of the university’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2018.
- Overall increases in enrollment to nearly 21,200 students, up 2.6 percent according to the document
- A role in what the university says is the highest percentage of increase for graduation rates over five years, 12 percent, among all public universities in Indiana
- Managed more than $200 million in construction projects
You can connect to a copy of the agreement and attachments like the board of trustees’ public statement and school’s letter of recommendation for Ferguson by clicking here.