Staff Editorial: Hample's Departure has a Hefty New Price Tag
In last week’s Staff Editorial, we reported that Judy Hample is getting $82,000 for doing nothing. We’d like to update you on that this week.
Judy Hample is getting $299,000 for doing nothing.
The official Amended Employment Agreement between UMW and their now former president states that, on top of her remaining $82,000 salary, “the University shall render to Dr. Hample a lump sum payment of $217,000 by no later than July 15, 2010.”
That’s nearly $300,000 to not be at the university. Does that make sense to anyone? If that same offer were made to a student, they would certainly sacrifice the Mary Washington experience for the bag of cash.
The Amended Employment Agreement does confirm that Hample will still go on sabbatical beginning April 1, and that she will also still be allowed to reside at Brompton through June 30.
However, we still don’t know what Judy Hample did to deserve this extra $217,000. Hample did agree not to take the tenured teaching position that is offered to presidents upon their departure, but her short reign as president and her lack of productivity in the position make us believe she didn’t earn that money.
The agreement states that Hample cannot sue the university, and waives “any and all claims arising from or relating to Dr. Hample’s employment with the University and/or the termination of Dr. Hample’s presidency and tenure of any nature whatsoever”.
In other words, Hample is receiving the aforementioned $217,000 to go away and shut up. She is not allowed to badmouth the university in any way, so it helps protect UMW from the bad publicity of a former president speaking ill of the school that used to employ them.
This is reminiscent of former UMW President William Frawley, who spoke out against Mary Washington following his termination that stemmed from two separate DUI charges. It appears that UMW would rather not go through the negative publicity again, and they are willing to pay quite heavily to ensure that another Frawley-esque incident does not ensue.
We question the payment of these funds to a president who contributed very little to the university and, by all accounts, resigned of her own accord. Especially considering these trying economic times, is it really worth $217,000 to ensure Hample doesn’t talk bad about UMW on her way out?
It would seem obvious for one to assume that when a president and a university split, that there may be bad feelings between the two. Any statements a president makes while departing should thus be taken with a grain of salt.
That “sum payment” could go to a much worthier cause that would help improve some aspect of the university. Instead of paying a former member of the school who left voluntarily, use the money to help an educational department that is lacking funds, or even send money toward a club who is struggling to keep afloat. But throwing around that much cash to keep someone quiet just doesn’t make sense.