UMD Students React to Former Chancellor's Severance

By KBJR News 1

March 23, 2012 Updated Mar 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM CST

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---A front page article in the University of Minnesota Duluth student paper "The Statesman" has students reacting to former Chancellor Martin's roughly $500,000 severance.

University officials say her departure was in accordance with policy, and appropriate given her contributions to the university and community during her tenure.

Former UMD Chancellor Martin received $535,700 and two-years worth of health benefits upon her retirement.

"My initial thought was that was a lot of money for one person," Kristin Reed, a junior at UMD said.

According to university officials, there are three components to that package.

The first, a standard termination agreement, provides one-year salary plus retirement contribution.

In addition, Chancellor Martin was given the opportunity to finish a two month paid sabbatical.

Martin also received 15 months of leave pay at 80 percent of her administrative salary to re-engage into her field of study.

According to university policy, administrators who do not return to their position after leave must reimburse the university.

"However, there is a stipulation in that policy that states that the supervisor can waive this requirement," Alex Korte, a Statesman Reporter said.

That action allowed Martin to keep her administrative leave pay of roughly $270,000.

Some students are questioning the reasoning behind the waiver, saying the money could have been used to ease the burden of rising tuition.

"It makes me a little frustrated because there are so many things like books and just some of our class fees that we have are just outrageous," Amanda Kangas, a UMD senior said.

"I wondered why the school didn't put it back into the students and put it back into the community of the school," Reed said.

The U of M's Director of Public Relations says the terms of her departure were in accordance with the Board of Regents policy and appropriate given her contributions.

"It really provided her a respectful and graceful entry into retirement," Chuck Tombarge said. "While also allowing the University of Minnesota Duluth's new leadership to begin its work."

During her tenure at UMD, Martin raised millions of dollars in public and private funds to rebuild the campus and expand academic offerings.

Jennifer Walch
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