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Cutler Hall on Ohio University's campus in Athens, Ohio. (FILE)

Outgoing OU President Duane Nellis takes paid professional leave, won’t teach until 2022

Outgoing Ohio University President Duane Nellis will take a sabbatical, or paid period of leave, following his resignation as president and will not be teaching in a classroom until at least 2022, according to his retention agreement

On May 11, Nellis sent a letter of resignation to the OU Board of Trustees, citing his desire to return to the classroom and work with students in the department of geography, according to a previous Post report. Nellis publicly announced he was stepping down on May 13, two weeks before the Board announced their appointment of Hugh Sherman, the former dean of the College of Business, as OU’s 22nd president. 

Nellis will yield the powers of his presidency to Sherman June 14, according to a previous Post report. Nellis will also take a professional leave of absence starting on July 1 until Dec. 31 to prepare for his return to academia and will not be assigned any teaching or instructional duties. 

For about the next year, including time while Nellis is on sabbatical, OU will pay him an annual salary of $489,357, a return to his base salary after taking a 15% cut to his earnings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the agreement, Nellis will provide support during the new administration’s transition to both the office of the president and the Board of Trustees during the fiscal year 2022, as requested. 

According to Nellis’ presidential employment agreement, he will be paid 55% of his presidential salary as a trustee professor. The outgoing president was hired in 2017 as a tenured faculty member in the department of geography. Within his contract, Nellis was offered the option to work as a tenured faculty member at the end of his presidency. The new agreement overrides all previous agreements that were made relating to Nellis’ employment at OU. 

Nellis’ duties as a former OU president and faculty member outlined in the new agreement will include research and teaching or lecturing as a trustee professor. In addition to these requirements, Nellis must also provide public, donor and government relationship support as requested by Sherman and the Chair of the Board Cary Cooper.

In November, OU will pay Nellis a final deferred compensation payment which covers the final eight months of his presidency. 


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