The University of Akron’s No. 2 administrator will retire and be rehired in the same job, UA said Wednesday.
Provost Mike Sherman is among a record 57 UA faculty or administrators with faculty rank who are choosing to retire in the face of state pension changes that kick in July 1.
Sherman and Richard Stratton, acting assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences who makes $116,265, are the only two who chose to be rehired.
UA President Luis Proenza urged trustees Wednesday to accept Sherman’s retire and rehire, a controversial practice sometimes called double dipping.
Proenza praised Sherman, saying the university “cannot accomplish all we need to do under Vision 2020,” UA’s plan for growth, “without Mike’s continuing leadership.”
Advocates say the legal practice of retiring and rehiring enables universities and other public employers to keep valuable talent at lower costs.
Sherman, for example, now makes $291,600 as the university’s chief academic officer. He appears to have 28 years of service with the State Teachers Retirement System, most of them at Ohio State, according to his resume on the UA website.
Educators such as Sherman pay 10 percent of their salary into an STRS account and their public employers pay an additional 14 percent.
It is not known how much Sherman would collect with 28 years of service, which would be considered early retirement. STRS spokesman Nick Treneff said many factors affect the payment schedule and is privileged information.
However, with 30 years of service, an educator or administrator with faculty status would collect about 66 percent of his or her three highest years of salary starting July 1, Treneff said.
In Sherman’s case, he will make his current salary for the rest of this year. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, and through June 30, 2015, his salary will be reduced to a fixed $250,000, according to the terms of his rehire agreement with UA. Any renewal of that agreement would require approval from trustees.
Proenza said the number of retiring UA faculty is double the university’s five-year average, but that does not appear to be the case statewide.
Treneff said about 7,100 educators are retiring this academic year, about the same as last year.
Those who do retire ahead of the July 1 deadline will avoid paying a higher share into their retirement account and will wait only two years, instead of five for those who retire later, for a cost-of-living adjustment.
In recent years, three other top lieutenants of Proenza have retired and been rehired: general counsel Ted Mallo, who makes $198,005; John LaGuardia, vice president for public affairs and development, $194,378; and Ted Curtis, vice president of capital planning and facilities management, $200,430.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.