Contracts

Cohabitation not allowed in contract of this state university president


The new president of Alabama State University will live in the school’s presidential home, but there’s a catch.

Gwendolyn Boyd will not be permitted to cohabit with a romantic partner in the university residence for as long as she is single, according to her two-year employment contract (PDF). The Birmingham News, the Montgomery Advertiser, Insider Higher Ed and the Washington Post have stories.

Washington lawyer Raymond Cotton has negotiated several hundred employment contracts and he tells Inside Higher Ed he’s never seen that kind of language in a college president’s contract.

“I don’t know of any state that has the right to invade someone’s residence even if the state owns that residence,” Cotton told the publication. “How would you enforce it? Would you go marching into a president’s home and say, ‘Stop that, get your hands off him or her!’ ”

Boyd told the Montgomery Advertiser and Inside Higher Ed that she isn’t troubled by the restriction. “I can read, I read my contract thoroughly, I knew what I was signing and have no issue with it at all,” Boyd told the Advertiser. She said she negotiated the contract without a lawyer.

Typo corrected on Jan. 15.

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