- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2002

TOWSON, Md. (AP) The former Towson University president who resigned after accusations he spent too much money on the presidential mansion was expected to receive nearly $500,000 in severance pay, a regent said.
Mark Perkins, who resigned on April 8, moved out of the presidential house last week.
The agreement was reached after weeks of negotiations with the University System of Maryland.
"That's a nice sum," said Delegate Howard P. Rawlings, Baltimore Democrat and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "I hope the [Board of Regents] is in a position to defend it at some point, because members of my committee will be interested in finding out why this extraordinary settlement was reached."
Sources close to the discussions told the Baltimore Sun that some negotiators viewed the deal as a victory, considering Mr. Perkins had a strong contract and was asking for as much as $1 million.
"I'm happy closure has been reached," said Carl Behm, Towson's acting dean of academic affairs. "I hope it works out well for both sides."
Regents expressed concern about the amount of money Mr. Perkins was spending on the official presidential residency while the university was in a budget drought.
They also were worried about the amount the university spent on Mr. Perkins' March 15 inauguration that included a privately funded $25,000 gold medallion made to be worn that day by Mr. Perkins.
Those familiar with the severance discussions said negotiations for the package were tense, as several regents were opposed to giving him any severance.
The deal brings the total spent on the president's office during Mr. Perkins nine-month tenure to more than $2.5 million.


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