The College, its President, His Wife & Her Lover

Fogel

The administrators at the University of Vermont are (relatively) innocent, a report released recently by the school’s board of trustees concludes.

Back in May the Vermont press revealed that outgoing UVM president Daniel Fogel was facing some personal, and professional, troubles. His wife, it turned out, had been having an affair with a university development administrator. The close relationship led many to wonder if there were any financial problems there.

Well probably not, the trustees concluded. According to an article by Tim Johnson of the Burlington Free Press:

Rachael Kahn-Fogel’s relationship with a fundraising administrator at University of Vermont made morale suffer among other university employees, a review ordered by the Board of Trustees has concluded.

No laws or university policies were violated by the relationship, involving the spouse of then-President Daniel Fogel and Michael Schultz, an associate vice president, the review found. Nonetheless, the entire incident demonstrates that the role of the presidential spouse requires clarity, university officials said.

The total real violations consisted of $151 in excessive food costs. These were costs related to UVM entertaining and promptly repaid by Fogel and his wife (above).

As to that ambiguity about the role of the wife of the university president, well right. In fact, it was precisely the lack of clarity about the spouse that may have brought Kahn-Fogel and Schultz together in the first place. Schultz was something of an expert on the problems facing the spouses of academic administrators, writing for Inside Higher Ed last year that

While the president works closely with the development office in garnering private support, another person often plays a significant role in the success of a university’s development efforts. “Hired” along with the CEO, the individual serves a major function, but frequently has no job description and often works without a contract or remuneration. This is the spouse of the president.

The Free Press also reports that Schultz has been let go. In an effort to avoid litigation the university will pay him his $155,408 a year salary through the end of 2012. The package also includes a confidentially agreement and $15,000 for his attorney’s fees.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer