CLEVELAND, Ohio — Harlan Sands will be paid $928,000 to not be Cleveland State University’s president anymore, according to his separation agreement with the university that also guarantees him a six-figure teaching job.
The university’s board of trustee’s announced Tuesday that Sands was leaving the job and that Laura Bloomberg would go from provost and senior VP for academic affairs to becoming the new president.
Sands just a year ago had received a contract extension through June 2026.
The decision to replace Sands was made because of “differences regarding how the university should be led in the future” according to an announcement from the university’s board of trustees.
Cleveland State announced Nigamanth Sridhar, former dean of CSU’s College of Graduate Studies, would serve as interim provost.
According to copy of Sands’ separation agreement, obtained through a records request by cleveland.com, he will stay employed with the university in his current role until June 26, where he’ll have the title but none of the duties of being president.
He will be paid a lump sum equal to two years of his base salary, which was $464,100. Sands will also be offered a job as a full-tenured university professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. The position would pay 75% of his current salary, or $348,000.
According to the agreement, Sands will also have until Sept. 5 to move from the university’s presidential residence, and his moving expenses will be paid for.
When cleveland.com asked if either board chair David Reynolds or Harlan Sands would be available for comment, Dave Kielmeyer said the university wouldn’t have further comment on the separation.
Sands was hired in 2018.
CSU had a spate of departures in recent years under Sands’ leadership, including many leaders at the cabinet level.
It’s not unique for university leaders to have separation agreements or to have the option to continue teaching after they retire or resign.
Sands’ predecessor, former president Ronald Berkman, stayed on to teach after a sabbatical. According to Kielmeyer, he’s currently a tenured professor in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. His annual salary is $337,500.
In 2018, the University of Akron has two former presidents teaching at the university. UA was paying more than $620,000 a year to keep Luis Proenza and Scott Scarborough on staff.
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