A former UW-Whitewater chancellor who resigned in December will be paid about $161,840 through August to create class syllabi, read assigned texts, develop assignments, and learn relevant classroom technologies as she transitions to a full teaching schedule in the fall.
Beverly Kopper’s resignation, effective Dec. 31, came after allegations of her husband’s sexual harassment surfaced last fall. The agreement between Kopper and the University of Wisconsin System allowed her to return as a faculty member at a reduced salary.
But how Kopper would spend her leave from January through the start of next academic year with no academic obligations while continuing to draw eight months worth of her $242,760 annual salary was unclear.
The System required Kopper to submit a work proposal by Jan. 31, a copy of which the Wisconsin State Journal obtained under the state’s public records law Monday.
State Sen. Steve Nass, one of the UW System’s most vocal critics, called Kopper’s paid leave a “taxpayer-funded scam” back in December. His chief of staff did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Monday afternoon.
Kopper wrote in her work proposal that she will conduct an extensive review of best practices and latest research in her discipline. She notes that it has been more than a decade since she has taught in the classroom or lab.
She also wrote that she has never taught at UW-Whitewater, so she will familiarize herself with the university’s handbook, appropriate department guidelines and procedures relating to grading and course software.
Kopper also says she will lend her support to the university’s new leadership.
“Supporting the interim and incoming chancellor and doing everything I can to ensure their success and a smooth transition are priorities,” she wrote.
UW System President Ray Cross directed Kopper to develop and teach four classes each semester during the 2019-20 academic year, a course load in line with other faculty members, according to the System.
Records show Kopper will teach three classroom courses and one online course in the fall. In the spring semester, she will teach two classroom courses and two online courses.
Kopper’s salary will be reduced to $118,308 in September, an amount the System said in a statement was determined by factoring in years of service, previous salary as a faculty member, length of time served as an administrator and other factors consistent with UW System Board of Regents policy. Her $118,308 salary is less than what she earned as provost, the position she served before accepting the chancellor position in 2015.
Over the summer, Kopper’s husband, Alan “Pete” Hill, was banned from campus and stripped of his honorary title as an unpaid associate to the chancellor after a UW System investigation found “merit” to allegations that he sexually harassed female employees. The allegations were first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The UW System opened a second investigation in September after additional women came forward. Officials said the investigation closed in December, but have yet to provide those records to media outlets, including the State Journal.