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March 28, 2018

The Cost of Quitting Instead of Getting the Ax: for Fred Walker, About $330,000

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Edinboro University President H. Fred Walker resigned his job this week, a move that appears to have cost him about $330,000 he might have received if he had been fired.

Raymond D. Cotton, a Washington lawyer who represents college presidents and boards in contract negotiations, reviewed Walker’s contract and described it as "one sided" in the system’s favor. The system’s contract is signed by two lawyers and the office of the attorney general, but Walker lists no legal representation in the contract. This does not necessarily mean that Walker lacked counsel, but having a lawyer sign the contract would have helped his cause, Cotton said.

"It sends the message to the employer that the incoming president is going to play by the rules and is sophisticated enough to know when he needs legal counsel," Cotton said. "It sends a message that if they’re going to start trouble with the president, his lawyer is going to be there."

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