Saturday, June 6, 2020

Breaking down incoming Provost Teresa Woodruff's contract with MSU

May 15, 2020
<p>Courtesy photo. </p>

Courtesy photo.

On April 27, it was announced that Teresa Woodruff was selected to serve as Michigan State's next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Just one day prior to the announcement, she signed the contract accepting the position, and on Friday, her hire was approved by MSU's Board of Trustees.

Woodruff's contract states that her starting salary is $515,000 — a number that will be evaluated and adjusted every 12 months based on performance. Her starting salary is $145,000 more than what former provost June Youatt's was in 2014.

The six-page contract also provides Woodruff with an appointment as an MSU Foundation Professor with tenure within the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

As provost, she will be an at-will employee, meaning she can be removed without notice or reason. Her tenured faculty positions within the College of Human Medicine and the College of Engineering require a longer dismissal process.

Outlined in the contract are the responsibilities of the provost, including overseeing the leadership and administration of all academic programs the university offers. As provost, Woodruff will also be responsible for primary budget responsibilities and administering "all academic human resources policies, procedures and actions."

Woodruff will also receive a one-time signing bonus of $15,000 to cover moving expenses. The university will be reimbursed if Woodruff leaves MSU within the year. The university will pay for temporary housing for the first year of Woodruff's employment, "in recognition of the need for housing during this unique transitional period." MSU will also pay for two parking spaces near the apartment.

The contract also outlines the benefits offered to Woodruff, including 48 non-accruable vacation days to be made available throughout two years, health care coverage, up to six months of paid sick leave and retirement contributions of 10% of the set salary. Other benefits include further retirement planning and half-priced tuition and board for dependent children and spouses admitted to MSU.

Matching Youatt's contract, Woodruff would be offered either a university-leased vehicle or an $8,400 vehicle allowance.

Two season ticket passes for football, men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey can be made available upon request as well. Youatt's contract was similar, excluding only women's basketball.

Also offered in the contract is a six-month research leave, which can be combined with a six-month long sabbatical, if requirements are met. For each year she serves as provost, an extra month will be added to the research leave — up to 12 months. Youatt's contract had the same ruling.

Woodruff's appointment came after a national search to fill the role after Youatt resigned on Sept. 5, 2019. The search began in October 2019 and she was one of three finalists named in March.

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