MORRIS COUNTY — Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) called for legislative action on his bill to end golden parachute payouts following news that Rutgers University is granting a $480,000 payout to the hastily departing New Brunswick campus Chancellor for a one-year sabbatical.
“The state’s largest public research university is forking over nearly half-a-million dollars to pay for an early departing administrator’s one-year vacation,” Pennacchio said. “This handout is a gross misuse by Rutgers of the tuition they receive from students and the tax dollars they receive from the State. Every dollar Rutgers wastes on these payouts is a dollar not spent on teaching and research. With tuition and student debt on the rise, I am calling for the State Legislature to take action to end this fiscally-irresponsible practice.”
Pennacchio’s legislation, S-2976, would prohibit New Jersey’s public colleges and universities from making certain payouts to departing employees that are not contractually obligated. It would also require the Secretary of Higher Education to approve certain higher education employment contracts.
Debasish “Deba” Dutta, the former Chancellor of Rutgers New Brunswick, unexpectedly left his position after only one year on the job. He was given $480,000 for a one-year sabbatical.
His contract specified that he did not qualify for a funded sabbatical until reaching five years of employment at Rutgers.
“The former chancellor’s actions are the ultimate example of, ‘take the money and run,’” Pennacchio added. “University administrators who already make well over six figures should not take State funded handouts with no accountability. That money could go to fund scholarship programs for student in need, or help to upgrade outdated facilities. We can and must do better.”