Troyer accepts full-time employment in department of psychology

Lisa Troyer, University President Michael Hogan’s former chief of staff and the key figure in the recent anonymous email scandal, has accepted a full-time tenured appointment offer in the department of psychology, with a salary of $109,000.

However, there will be a review process since she is now considered a full-time faculty member. This process would likely examine if Troyer committed any violations of the University’s code of conduct and the appropriate use policy of computers and networks. The details of the review have not yet been finalized but will be done through consultation with appropriate faculty governance committees, according to Troyer’s appointment letter.

Removing tenure would have to be initiated by Hogan, according to the University’s statutes, but there are no plans to do so right now, said University spokesman Tom Hardy last week.

Troyer resigned in early January after allegations that she sent anonymous emails to a University faculty group, trying to sway decision on a series of controversial admissions recommendations, which Hogan had endorsed. According to the investigation, Troyer was found to have sent the emails.

But Troyer has maintained that she was not involved in the controversy and will “do (her) best to serve the University as a teacher and researcher.”

“Information about this issue continues to develop, and I believe that over time, as the full information comes to light, it will reveal the truth behind this matter,” she said in an email Tuesday.

Some Urbana faculty leaders questioned the appointment at their recent Urbana-Champaign Senate meeting. Senate vice chair Joyce Tolliver was critical of Hogan’s decision to announce, immediately after her resignation, that Troyer would retain a tenured-faculty position.

“The fact that (Hogan) sees no conflict of interest in pursuing a faculty position for the one person whose silence protects him from any further disclosure suggests an ethical standard far below what common sense would dictate,” Tolliver said last week.

However, campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the campus is only “honoring her appointment that was made at the time she was hired.” Campus officials formally offered her the full-time faculty position because her salary and her duties as a professor were not determined at the time of her hire in 2010.

The original appointment was “vetted by the campus, including the department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Hardy said last week. Her salary was $195,000 at the time of the hire, but increased to over $200,000 at the beginning of the academic year.

The current salary was determined by median salaries of professors in the department who earned doctoral degrees and achieved full professor credentials near the same time Troyer did, Kaler said.

She will not have any duties in the department for the current semester but will continue to develop her “future research and teaching agendas and resuming (her) scholarly activity,” according to the letter of appointment.

She will be required to provide updates to interim department head Brian Ross so the unit can understand her agenda and begin to identify future teaching assignments. Troyer studies “innovative problem-solving in groups and organizations” in social-personality psychology.