Chicago State University President Resigns, Gets $600,000 Severance

CHICAGO (CBS) — After less than nine months on the job, Chicago State University president Thomas Calhoun Jr. has resigned, and will receive $600,000 as part of a separation agreement approved by the board of trustees on Friday.

Calhoun was hired in October, and officially took office in January, after the retirement of Wayne Watson.

The Board of Trustees accepted Calhoun’s resignation Friday morning, and agreed to pay him two years’ salary. His five-year contract with the university, which had been set to run through 2020, included a provision for two years’ salary if he were being fired.

Better Government Association executive director Andy Shaw said the situation demands an investigation.

“It’s hard to understand why he would get any kind of severance or golden parachute. There are a lot of unanswered questions here, and I think before we reach a final conclusion, we need to know what went down,” he said.

Trustees were shouted down and heckled by enraged students, faculty, and staff who supported Calhoun as they voted 6-1 to approve the separation agreement, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“This seems to be another example of dysfunction and mismanagement. You bring in somebody who’s reforming the place, who has the support of the faculty, and then you hear he’s gone; not just gone, he’s resigning, but getting two years’ severance, which is only supposed to take place if he’s fired,” Shaw said.

According to the Tribune, university vice president Cecil Lucy was appointed as interim president.

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