Former UK president Wethington to retire from $212,000-a-year community college job

dmoore@herald-leader.comJune 18, 2012 

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees is expected to approve Tuesday the retirement of former UK President Charles Wethington, who has been paid as a fund-raiser or associate tenured professor since leaving the office in 2001.

Wethington, 76, has earned $212,484 a year since 2003, when he became an associate professor at UK's Lexington Community College, now Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He earned as much as $265,000 a year during his first two years of post-presidential work as a fund-raiser for UK.

Wethington, an educational psychologist, has been with UK for 47 years. He became interim president after Dave Roselle's departure in 1989, and he was appointed to the post the following year.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton said Wethington's retirement is unrelated to UK President Eli Capilouto's announcement two weeks ago that 1 percent of the university's work force is being laid off.

"This is simply the retirement of someone who has spent nearly 50 years of his life in service to the university," Blanton said.

Wethington was not available for comment Monday.

The university has struggled at times to quantify the specifics of Wethington's work since he left the president's office.

University officials have said no evaluation process was in place during Wethington's time as a fund-raiser, and they could produce no records of his work, other than expense reports from frequent meals for "fund-raising and development."

As an associate professor, Wethington's job included research and working on a proposed book with Terry Birdwhistell, now the dean of libraries at UK. He maintained an office in the William T. Young Library.

Lee T. Todd Jr., Wethington's successor as president, became a tenured engineering professor after leaving the presidency in 2011. His annual salary is $162,000.

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