Ohio University President Duane Nellis, who announced this month he’s stepping down from leading the institution two years before his term ends, didn't submitted a written notice of resignation to the Board of Trustees on time, as is required within his contract.
The move raises questions about when Nellis, who is leaving the presidency June 30 to teach classes as a faculty member, finalized the decision to abandon the role, as he is required to submit a resignation notice at least six months prior to his final day in office, according to a copy of his contract.
“Although President Nellis did not provide six months notice of his planned transition, both President Nellis and the Board of Trustees may agree to waive any notice required by the contract as he transitions to a faculty position,” Vice President of University Communications and Marketing Robin Oliver said in an email. “Details about the transition agreement will be available after the agreement is fully approved by the Board of Trustees.”
Asked why Nellis didn’t submit a resignation notice on time, Oliver pointed to a video where the president cites stressors related to the pandemic and his “passion” for teaching as reasons for stepping down from office, noting that the Board of Trustees supported him leaving the role.
The Board of Trustees didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment on why Nellis didn't file a resignation notice on time.
Oliver was not immediately able to answer when the Board of Trustees will approve Nellis' transition agreement, though the body is scheduled to meet for a special session Thursday to discuss personnel matters.
According to his contract, Nellis is entitled to a tenured position in the Department of Geography following his resignation where he will earn no less than 55 percent of his initial base salary — $475,000.
Nellis, a deeply unpopular president who received a vote of no confidence from Faculty Senate during his tenure, announced his resignation days after the Board of Trustees called a highly unusual special meeting that was held almost entirely in executive session to discuss confidential matters.
He stepped down from both his previous presidency roles prior to his terms ending at Texas Tech University and the University of Idaho, in one instance expressing frustration with Texas Tech’s structure of governance.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated that Nellis didn't ever submit a resignation notice. He submitted it, just past the six-month threshold outlined in his contract. A public records request for the notice was filed with the Ohio University Office of Legal Affairs earlier Monday.