- The Washington Times - Monday, October 24, 2005


Two weeks after firing American University President Benjamin Ladner, university trustees said yesterday that Mr. Ladner will leave with a $950,000 settlement.

Mr. Ladner, 63, was suspended in August while auditors examined at least $500,000 in travel costs and other expenses that he and his wife incurred over the past three years. The expenses in question include an engagement party for Mr. Ladner’s son; “professional development” trips for the couple’s personal chef to Paris, London and Rome; nearly $54,000 in drivers’ costs; and nearly $44,000 in alcohol.

“The board felt it was in the best interests of the entire university community to put the controversy surrounding the Audit Committee’s investigation and Dr. Ladner’s employment behind it,” acting Chairman Thomas A. Gottschalk said.

Many students and faculty members have been protesting any payment to Mr. Ladner.

Mr. Ladner had led the 11,000-student private school in Northwest for 11 years.

According to terms released by the board, the university will deduct from Mr. Ladner’s settlement withholding taxes on $398,000 in questionable spending that the university reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for the years 2002 to 2005.

It also will deduct $125,000 in personal expenses that the board wants repaid.

Mr. Ladner also will receive deferred salary that he had set aside, including an insurance policy worth $1 million and the balances of two trusts worth about $1.75 million.

Mr. Ladner agreed to drop any other claims against the university arising from his contract.



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