Winthrop trustees privately discuss potential pay for next president

08/21/2014 10:07 PM

08/21/2014 10:09 PM

Some Winthrop University trustees met behind closed doors in Columbia on Wednesday morning to discuss the future salary for the school’s 11th president.

Winthrop has not yet begun its search for former President Jamie Comstock Williamson’s replacement. Williamson was fired June 26 in a unanimous vote by the Winthrop Board of Trustees.

On Wednesday, the executive committee of the board reviewed the compensation package Williamson received while in office less than one year, said Chairwoman Kathy Bigham.

The ex-president’s annual compensation was nearly $300,000 which included a salary supplement from the university’s foundation. Because she was fired “with cause,” trustees have said Williamson is not entitled to pay though her employment contract with Winthrop is for five years.

Acting President Debra Boyd’s salary is $162,537 – the same pay she earns as Winthrop provost and vice president for academic affairs.

On Wednesday, trustees discussed what might be appropriate to pay Winthrop’s next president, Bigham said, but no particular candidates or applicants were mentioned. Though the full board plans to meet Monday in Rock Hill, Bigham said it could be a few more weeks before trustees begin talks about a presidential search.

Monday’s board meeting is expected to also include some discussion about a proposed real estate purchase.

The Winthrop board’s executive committee also heard Wednesday an update from the university’s attorney about potential claims against the school, Bigham said. Williamson has threatened to sue Winthrop and plans to start mediation with the university soon.

Trustees discussed the upcoming mediation but no particular date was set during the meeting, Bigham said.

The executive committee did not hold any public discussion Wednesday and did not vote on any issues after executive session.

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