DES MOINES – Eighty-five employees of Iowa’s Board of Regents would receive severance deals of $25,000 or more – in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars – if they were fired today.
The board of regents oversees the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa as well as University of Iowa Health Care.
The list of employees is dominated by athletic coaches and administrators, but some top administrators at University of Iowa Health Care also would walk away with settlements ranging from $200,000 to nearly $600,000 if they suddenly found themselves unemployed.
“I understand that you have to sweeten the pot when you’re trying to attract solid, good individuals, I understand that,” said Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, R-Wilton. “But for an associate vice president, do you have to sweeten the pot over a half-million dollars in severance? I don’t know. I have questions.”
Kaufmann filed the Freedom of Information request to the board of regents about severance packages after news reports about the $450,000 severance package given to Chad Simmons, former University of Iowa Health Care vice president of human resources. Simmons was let go after 16 months on the job, and his severance was equal to two years of his annual salary.
The response letter from regents executive director Bob Donley gave details on some of the highest severance packages in Iowa public higher education.
Kaufmann said he is not asking for more oversight of the contracts, but added that it is good information for the public to know.
- By Mike Wiser, Gazette Des Moines Bureau and Diane Heldt