President M. Duane Nellis

President M. Duane Nellis delivered the 2019 State of the University Address in Walter Hall.

By Ben Peters

Athens NEWS Associate Editor

When Outgoing Ohio University President Duane Nellis steps down from executive office at the end of June he’ll be placed on paid “professional leave” and won’t teach classes until at least the beginning of 2022, according to a copy of his employment agreement.

Nellis, who previously announced he would resign as president on June 30 to recapture his ”passion” for teaching, will devote his time off to research and “productive scholarship as he prepares for return to academia as a full-time professor” in the Geography Department, according to the document. During that time he will be available to incoming President Hugh Sherman and Board of Trustees Chair Cary Cooper as needed.

While Nellis won’t formally leave office until the end of the month, he agreed to relinquish power to Sherman on Monday, June 14, when the former College of Business dean will officially begin leading the institution, according to both the incoming president’s contract and university spokesperson Carly Leatherwood.

Nellis submitted his resignation letter to the Board of Trustees on May 11, two days before he publicly announced his intent to step down. Under his presidential contract, Nellis was required to submit a notice of resignation at least six months before his final day in office. That stipulation was formally waived by the Board of Trustees on May 25 when his faculty employment agreement was signed, according to the document.

Beginning July 1, Nellis will earn nearly $490,000 as a tenured professor, making him the highest paid professor on campus. His salary will decrease in 2022 to no less than about $280,000. On June 30, he and his wife, Ruthie Nellis, will receive an estimated $95,000 for all unused vacation time accrued since 2017, Leatherwood said.In November, the university will provide Nellis a deferred compensation payment of $38,000 to cover the final eight months of his presidency, according to the employment contract and Leatherwood.

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