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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Last update of the night

Since I am simply about to pass out, I am so exhausted.

First, I know it's going to be hard to keep the students interested. I do not view today as a "victory" by any stretch of the imagination. I have a lot of concerns with the numbers and where they are coming from. I have concerns with the $950K number and possible inflation, I have concerns that Ladner should not be getting any of the premium involved in the life insurance, which is a $1 million figure, I have concerns about the if the trusts have been vested (as Ladner has claimed), the taxes on them, if he can claim them, etc. These are complicated (and rather boring) issues... the deans and faculty will be asking these questions over the next 48 hours, as will student government.

I guess I'm just asking, please, withhold judgment. Yes, it's a settlement, and it could be worse. But if they're giving us these numbers, and they are basically inflated, or they're possibly padding it by a million or two, this is not a victory. It's going to be an information game in the next 48 hours.

The questions that the deans/faculty/student leaders will be asking tomorrow basically revolve around each of the three main parts of the package:
1. Where the $950K figure is coming from, if the amount has been inflated to compensate for what he's losing, the reference to the severance package for cause for faculty/staff.
2. Life insurance: is Ladner getting both the premium and the appreciation of the amount AU has put in for him? (Imagine it is not insurance, but stock. AU buys stock for Ladner, and holds it in his name... he is able to get whatever the stocks make, but not the stocks themselves. He should not be getting the premiums, as that is not money directed to his earnings).
2. Trusts: Gottschalk told the faculty representatives that they would have had a "Strong case" to litigate against Ladner. They had already drafted a statement firing him "for cause of dishonesty" if he had not accepted. So why are we settling at all? Furthermore, Ladner says the trusts were vested 2 years ago... he has not been paying taxes on this if it did happen, but G. said that they were set to vest in 2010. What are the policies on vesting them now, etc?

That's what we're looking at with the settlement itself. As for the board, I think everyone agrees that it needs to reform dramatically, and we are not stopping on that. There has been a task-force created to examine the bylaws... there is one with students, and the faculty senate is also looking at them.

Basically, there are a lot of actions in the works... but there's going to be a brief period where nothing much happens besides some talking and comparing of notes. So in the meantime, don't start your celebrating yet.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and you can, by all means, disagree with me. But personally, I am not yet convinced of this, in any way.

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