Earlier this year I blogged a bit about Karen Rothenberg, the former dean of the University of Maryland School of Law. As part of a retention package, she was paid $350,000 in compensation for a sabbatical that she was never able to take (plus $60,000 in summer research money processed by a subordinate .) Unfortunately, David Ramsay, the President of the U, never cleared the $350K payment with the Board of Regents. As I noted at the time, it's fairly standard to offer a successful dean supplemental compensation for retention purposes; this method, however, seemed a bit atypical. And since the President didn't run it by the Board, it became downright reckless.
So reckless, apparently, that the payment was improper. Today the Maryland AG announced that Rothenberg - who previously returned the $60,000 summer stipend - is now returning $300K more, plus interest. If my math is right, she's getting to keep $50,000. In announcing the deal, the AG stated:
"In reaching this agreement, we took into account Professor Rothenberg's service to the School of Law and that there were good-faith misunderstandings relating to matters of compensation that resulted in these payments being made and accepted."
Dean Rothenberg stepped down last year, is currently on sabbatical, and plans to return to the faculty next month. Rothenberg took some heat for this at the time though others saw the trajectory of the story as very much gendered. As painful as it will be to write Maryland that whopping check - particularly since that bonus may have convinced her forgo more lucrative offers - I suspect she's very glad to have this over.
Update: TaxProf has some thoughts on the tax consequences of this whole affair.