Contract subjects new Ala. State Pres. to surprising love life limitation

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Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd not allowed any romantic “cohabitation” in university-provided home

The new president of Alabama State University agreed to a contract with several stipulations, including one unusual mandate regarding her love life.

Under the terms of her contract with the school’s board of trustees, first obtained by The Birmingham News, Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd is not allowed to “cohabitate” in her university-provided home with any man who is not her husband. Boyd is currently single.

Section 5.4 of the contract, signed Jan. 2, states:
“For so long as Dr. Boyd is President and a single person, she shall not be allowed to cohabitate in the President’s residence with any person with whom she has a romantic relation”.

Boyd will make $300,000 per year as president and receive a number of fringe benefits, including $10,000 in moving expenses from her current home in Maryland, according to the newspaper. She will be required to use her own car but will receive a $1,000 monthly car allowance.

Raymond Cotton, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who has negotiated more than 300 presidential contracts and represented both trustee boards and incoming university executives, told Inside Higher Ed that he had never seen such a restriction on an individual’s love life.

“No board that I know of, certainly that I would advise, would have anything to do with a clause like this. 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!,'” Cotton said.

“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 online publication. “To convey that residence and dictate what kind of romantic relationship you can have in that facility—I mean, she’s not in prison.”

However, Boyd told Inside Higher Ed that she did not have an issue with the restraint. A spokesman for the university said both parties agreed to the contract, but did not specify where the stipulation came from or whether other university executives were under similar restraints.

Alabama State University is a historically Black university located in Montgomery, Ala. which serves more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Boyd replaces Joseph Silver, who was paid $685,000 by the trustees in December 2012 to resign after only 13 weeks on the job. According to The Birmingham News, Silver claimed he was ousted for asking questions about suspicious contracts at the school. A state investigation followed, and a preliminary report released in October alleged violations of the trustees’ conflict of interest policy, wasted funds, and attempts by the school to obstruct the ongoing investigation.

Alabama-born, she earned her bachelor’s degree from ASU in 1977 in mathematics. She received a fellowship to attend Yale University’s School of Engineering in New Haven, Conn., becoming the school’s first African American woman to receive an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 1979. She also earned a doctorate in divinity from Howard University.

Boyd is a former Miss Alabama State University and a charter member of ASU’s chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She also served as the sorority’s national president.

Special to the NNPA from the AFRO American

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