Jensen’s severance about three times what contract allowed
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The $500,000 severance payment to former Colorado Mountain College President Stan Jensen was approximately three times what he normally would have been entitled to, according to a review of Jensen’s employment contracts from 2008 through 2012.Attorney Tim Whitsitt, who was hired in December by the CMC board of directors specifically for employment issues, confirmed on Monday that Jensen would have been entitled to slightly more than $149,000 in a salary payout on the day he resigned. plus coverage of medical insurance premiums for nine months, under the terms of his normal contract.”It was nine months of pay and nine months of medical insurance premiums,” said Whitsitt on Monday, adding that he was not sure of the value of Jensen’s monthly health insurance benefits.Jensen was earning $198,800 per year when he resigned, along with a package of perks and benefits worth more than $72,000 a year.Jensen had been president of the six-county college district since March 2008. He resigned on Dec. 27 during a telephone conference call with the college’s board of trustees, following weeks of negotiations.As part of a mostly secret separation agreement, Jensen received severance pay of $500,000, which is more than two and a half times the amount he was earning annually during his last year on the job.He was also paid half his annual salary, $99,400, for his six months of work in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, Whitsitt said.College officials, citing a confidentiality clause in the separation agreement, have said very little about Jensen’s resignation.CMC president collected pay and perksA review of Jensen’s 2008 contract and annual contract amendments from 2009 through 2012 by the Post Independent revealed a growing package of benefits. CMC’s general counsel law firm, Beattie, Chadwick & Houpt of Glenwood Springs, released the contracts and amendments in response to a Open Records request filed by the Post Independent under the state’s Sunshine Law.The latest contract amendment, dated July 1, 2012, extended Jensen’s contract through June 30, 2014.Jensen’s benefits package included:• Performance pay, essentially a bonus, of up to 10 percent of his base pay. The actual bonus was to be determined by the college trustees, following a complex scoring system laid out in the contract. In 2012, Jensen’s performance pay came to just over $9,000.• Annual contributions to Jensen’s tax-sheltered annuity plan of $17,000 to $18,000 a year, for a total of about $68,600 over his four years as president.• An annual housing allowance that started out at $21,600 in 2008, and jumped to $36,000 starting in 2011. • Health insurance premiums for Jensen and his wife were covered at 100 percent starting in 2011.• A car for business and for personal use “incidental to college business,” with all fuel and maintenance costs covered by the college.• Up to $10,000 per year routed through the Colorado Mountain College Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the college district. Whitsitt said that money was for Jensen’s work in association with the CMC Foundation rather than his duties for the college itself.The dollar value of the health insurance coverage and the car weren’t available. A total of the other benefits Jensen was under contract to receive by 2012 adds up to $73,firstname.lastname@example.org
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