Washburn U. Pays $210,000 to Settle Lawsuit by 2 Fired VP's

July 27, 2011

Washburn University has agreed to pay $210,000 to settle a lawsuit filed last year by two former senior administrators, who charged that the institution's president had fired them because they had cooperated with a review of his performance by board members. Wanda Hill and Robin Bowen, formerly vice presidents for administration and for academic affairs, respectively, at Washburn, sued the Kansas public institution a few months after they were fired last spring. They alleged that President Jerry B. Farley had dismissed them because he considered them disloyal for having shared information with board members about issues related to controversial spending and other topics. Farley declined to discuss the situation with Inside Higher Ed at the time, but told The Topeka Capital-Journal that he disputed the allegations. In a settlement agreement, published by the local newspaper on Monday, Washburn will pay $130,000 to Bowen and $82,500 to Hill (and to their lawyers), and Farley will write a general letter of recommendation for both women. Washburn admits no wrongdoing in the agreement. Hill is now vice president for finance and CFO at Sierra Nevada College; Bowen is vice president for academic affairs at Fitchburg State University.

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