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Local

NIU agrees to pay former dean almost $95,000 for off-campus role

Dannenmaier can work for university for as long as Dec. 31, agrees not to sue, records show

A sign hangs outside of Swen Parson Hall on Thursday at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
A sign hangs outside of Swen Parson Hall on Thursday at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University officials agreed to pay former law school Dean Eric Dannenmaier about $95,000 to take on an off-campus research assignment until Dec. 31, records show.

Dannenmaier was hired as the law school dean in June 2016 at a salary of $270,000 a year. He was placed on paid administrative leave in February after two female employees filed sexual harassment complaints against him, according to university records. A university investigation found those claims to be valid, records show, although Dannenmaier has disputed them and says the university's process was not fair.

A DeKalb County judge has granted Dannenmaier's request for an injunction to keep the full findings of the university's investigation secret.

Records show Dannenmaier signed a resolution agreement, which provides for him to work off-campus through the university's Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships, on July 7.

Under the terms of the agreement, he will earn about $94,500, NIU Senior Director of Institutional Communications Lisa Miner said.

The agreement also includes a provision that Dannenmaier will not sue the university, including for age discrimination.

"Dannenmaier will perform research and policy development efforts at the local, state, and national level related to, but not limited to, water in a changing world, restoring ecosystems, aging in community, and governmental efficiency," according to the agreement.

As part of the contract that appointed him dean of the law school in June 2016, Dannenmaier was granted a tenured faculty position, the agreement states. Under the terms of the agreement, the university has agreed to assign Dannenmaier as a nontenured professor through the end of the year.

"The parties understand and agree that Dannenmaier will voluntarily and irrevocably resign from the university if Dannenmaier secures other full-time employment outside of the university prior to [Dec. 31]," the agreement shows.

Both the university and Dannenmaier also agreed not to make any negative public statements about each other.

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