Dunn’s SIU Contract: Devil’s in the Details

Youngstown State University President Randy Dunn sent a letter and vitae to R. William Funk & Associates, the search firm responsible for finding Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s president, on Jan. 10 detailing his career experience and qualifications as a university president.

Dunn signed his contract with SIU just a little more than one month later — the same day he submitted his resignation to the YSU Board of Trustees — on Feb. 17.

The most notable part of his contract with SIU is a stipulation regarding Dunn leaving that university before the expiration of his contract.

If he decides to leave SIU before his contract ends, Dunn is required to provide 180 days advance written notice, the same amount of time as outlined in his contract with YSU. If Dunn terminates his contract within 42 months — or three and a half months into his four-year contract — of taking the job, he must pay the university $250,000.

In a press conference announcing his resignation on Feb. 17, Dunn said that he had not applied to SIU “per se.” When The Jambar requested Dunn’s application and contract with SIU, Rod Sievers, the SIU Freedom of Information Act Officer, also said that “there was no ‘application’ per se,” but that he would provide materials submitted by Dunn.

In his letter to R. William Funk & Associates, Dunn said, “Though I am not actively seeking a different position [outside of YSU], out of respect for both you — and the institution which employed me longer than any other during my professional career — I am forwarding various materials …”

He also noted that he had “strong roots in Illinois generally and southern Illinois specifically.”

In his references, only one person was from Ohio: Rebecca Watts, a member of the Ohio Board of Regents. All other references had addresses in Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Dunn signed his four-year contract with SIU on Feb.17. He will earn $430,000 per year, $55,000 more than his contract with YSU, and — as stated in that contract — will receive “health insurance, sick leave, paid vacation and other benefits accorded to administrative and professional employees of the university that are authorized by law or policy.”

The SIU Board of Trustees will cover moving expenses for the Dunns up to $13,000 and provide a car for professional use.

Unlike his contract with YSU, there are no provisions for housing, number of sick days, country club membership or number of vacation days.