June 26, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a new policy June 23 that redefines and updates the University's decade-old employment rules regarding its high-level officials.
The University's old executive official policy, approved by the board in 1988 and last revised in 1991, describes a broad category of administrative employees ranging from vice presidents to some directors who serve at the pleasure of the president. The old policy provided these officials with up to a year's severance pay if terminated for reasons other than cause.
The new policy, the Senior Administrative Officers Policy, continues the at-will service status of these officials. The new policy defines "senior administrative officers" as "vice presidents, provost, deans and such other officials of equivalent responsibility as may be designated by the president." The new policy is effective immediately and does not provide for severance pay for officials who are terminated.
Currently some 120 employees are classified as executive officials at the University. They will not be affected by this change, but their positions, once vacated, will be reclassified to reflect the new policy so that over time the executive official designation will be eliminated.
"Western Michigan University's executive official policy was unlike that of most other universities and, as such, I felt that we needed to make a change," said WMU President Elson S. Floyd, who presented the new policy to trustees for their approval. "The new policy gives the University much more flexibility in hiring and retaining senior officials."
Under both the old executive officials policy and the new Senior Administrative Officers Policy, the board of trustees must approve both appointments and dismissals of administrators included in the classification.
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