Shapiro to take extended transition leave following resignation as provost

Provost Gary Shapiro will remain active on campus during his year of transition leave from the university.

Shapiro announced his resignation as provost on Sept. 12, to take effect after this year, his third in the position. He plans to return to teaching in 2014, Central Michigan Life reported previously.

University President George Ross said Shapiro is not taking time off, but working to develop his class. He will also be working with the president and the new provost during that time.

Associate Vice President of Human Resources Lori Hella said the term "leave" has caused some confusion surrounding Shapiro's involvement during his transition period.

"It's called a leave, but the provost will still be actively involved in university business," she said. "He will have an office on campus, will be working with the transition of the new provost, working with international education, as well as student learning and preparing to return to the classroom."

Director of Public Relations Steve Smith confirmed in an email that Shapiro will remain active on campus during this transition period.

According to the Senior Officer Handbook, the document which dictates the ins and outs of Shapiro's position, transition leave is available for any senior officer who is tenured faculty and planning on returning to full-time teaching in a department.

"The length of a transition leave will be evaluated on an individual basis and must receive approval by the president," the handbook states. "A transition leave generally shall be for a minimum of two months and generally not exceed six months. In determining the length of the leave, the president shall consider when notice of termination was given, the beginning dates of the academic semesters, and the purpose of the leave."

Though the handbook says this transition leave should generally not exceed six months, Shapiro will be taking a full year off before returning to work.

Ross said that policy can be adjusted at the discretion of the president, and it has been in the past, although he could not provide any specifics. He said that decision is then reviewed in detail and approved by Human Resources.

Hella said Human Resources does not approve these transactions, but the president did ask for guidance to assist with the transition.

"When the president approached us to assist with the transition leave, the transition did not seem out of line with someone at that level of experience," she said.

Senior officers transitioning to teaching is a very common occasion, and transition leave has been extended for other senior officers in the past, Hella said.

During this transition year, Shapiro will earn his normal salary of more than $254,000, in accordance with the Senior Officer Handbook.

"Salary during the transition leave shall be at the level existing on the last day of regular employment as an SO," the handbook says. "Employment status and benefits accorded to SO’s will continue during the leave.  The SO will not accrue vacation or sick leave during the transition leave."

Shapiro was unavailable to comment.

-Senior Reporter Annie Harrison contributed to this article.


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