Sally Mason: Spouse's Deal Made With Just A Handshake

Ann McClure's picture

University of Iowa President Sally Mason says she wanted the Iowa Board of Regents to put in writing its agreement to employ her husband at the school, but she settled on a handshake agreement instead.

Mason’s husband, Ken, is employed by the university as both a lecturer and a “presidential fundraiser.” The school’s obligation to provide Ken Mason with two jobs was not publicly disclosed when the regents announced Sally Mason’s hiring in 2005, and it hasn’t been explained since it first came to light four weeks ago.

The University of Iowa Foundation pays the school $72,000 per year as reimbursement for the expense associated with Ken Mason’s salary and benefits as a fundraiser.

The Masons have not responded to several interview requests from The Des Moines Register. But in a Web chat hosted on Wednesday by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Sally Mason said that in 2005, while still employed by Purdue University, she met with Iowa Board of Regents President Michael Gartner, board member David Miles and the regents’ executive director, Gary Steinke.

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