Just months before Ivy Tech Community College began a series of budget cuts and employee layoffs this past spring to offset revenue loss caused by declining enrollment, it paid its former President Tom Snyder more than $1 million.
The payout wasn’t revealed at the time by the college or its state board of trustees.
Documents released in response to a Tribune public records request show even though the college announced Snyder — whose annual salary was about $300,000 — would retire in 2016 and his existing contract lasted only to mid-2017, he received a lump sum severance payment equal to what his salary would have been had he worked through June 30, 2018.
The result was total state compensation of $1,001,352 for Snyder in 2016.
Such hidden severance deals — known as “golden parachutes” — are becoming increasingly common as higher education institutions pay departed presidents for years after they leave their jobs.
But Snyder’s payout came at a time when the statewide community college system’s enrollment had declined by 25 percent in three years. And budget cuts had forced the layoff of some employees, while other positions were left unfilled.
State legislators in 2015 also put Ivy Tech construction plans on hold and ordered the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to review and restructure Ivy Tech programs with low graduation rates.