The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 14, 2014

Contract bars new Alabama State president from shacking up

MONTGOMERY —

Alabama State University has barred its incoming president from living in her required campus home with any romantic interest as long as she remains unmarried.

A contract signed by Gwendolyn Boyd to become head of Alabama State University in Montgomery prohibits her from sharing her presidential home with any "romantic relation."

The contract notes Boyd, 58, is single and requires her to live in the house. It says the no-cohabitation clause is in effect as long as Boyd isn't married. Boyd signed the contract Jan. 2 under which Alabama State will pay her $300,000 annually. She starts work Feb. 1.

In a statement released Tuesday by the university, Boyd said she knew what was in the contract.

"I can read. I read my contract thoroughly, I knew what I was signing and I have no issue with it at all," she said.

A university statement said trustees and Boyd negotiated the agreement.

"This clause ... has nothing to do with Dr. Boyd and everything to do with the increasing scrutiny that university presidents face as the top image-makers of their respective universities, and as some would say, the 'living brand' of the schools that employ them," said the statement.

The University of Alabama similarly has an unmarried president and a campus executive mansion, but President Judy Bonner's contract does not include any language about who can live in the house, said University of Alabama System spokeswoman Kellee Reinhart.

Boyd has been executive assistant to the chief of staff of the Applied Physics Lab at John Hopkins University. Boyd will replace Joseph Silver, who left in late 2012.

Boyd grew up in Montgomery and has a bachelor's degree from Alabama State. She also has a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University and a doctorate in divinity from Howard University.

 

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