When racial protests wracked the University of Missouri in November 2015, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was a main target of protesters.
Amid criticism and demands he resign, Loftin announced he’d leave his position of leading the public university. However, an audit by Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway shows life hasn’t been too bad for Loftin, who’s still collecting a hefty salary of more than $300,000 in his new university role of director of national security research development.
Galloway, a Democrat, singled out Loftin on Monday as she released the audit’s findings. She spotlighted his unusually high pay, a lengthy paid leave and other perks, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Galloway took issue with multiple factors surrounding Loftin’s new role, including:
• His salary of $344,250 is 31 percent higher than the next highest-paid research administrator at Mizzou, and 75 percent of what he made as chancellor.
• His role is to focus on national security or defense, but Galloway says MU lacks a strategic initiative for research in that area.
• Loftin took a paid “developmental leave” for six months to travel the system’s four campuses and the country to “learn what we do,” according to his offer letter for his job.
• He gets an annual stipend of $35,000 in addition to his salary, plus a $15,560 annual vehicle allowance and $50,000 for travel costs during his leave.
The audit states the former chancellor’s pay appears both “excessive for a noncritical administrative position” and “not in the best interest of the UM System, Columbia campus, or the public.”
The university, meanwhile, defended Loftin’s pricey position saying he’s met with multiple military leaders to discuss projects and programs. Mizzou’s statement also said Loftin will be evaluated this spring “to assess his effectiveness and success in locating funding opportunities and partnerships.”
Loftin wasn’t the only focus of the audit, which was announced after the 2015 protests that garnered national attention. The report also “cited the university for lack of transparency and arbitrary decisions involving an incentive pay program,” according to the Post-Dispatch.