UO didn’t owe ex-president the settlement it paid

EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon chose to send off its resigning president with a $940,000 settlement after his quick two-year tenure. But it didn’t have to.

The settlement money to Michael Gottfredson came from private donors, not tuition or tax dollars. It also guaranteed that Gottfredson will not pursue any legal claims against the university.

The Register-Guard reports the UO Board of Trustees handed Gottfredson the settlement to acknowledge his contributions.

Had the university fired Gottfredson for just cause instead, he would be due no special payment.

A firing without cause would mean the board owed Gottfredson a year’s pay.

That’s what they ended up spending: The $940,000 figure is the equivalent of one year of pay as president, and one year of pay as a sociology professor.

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