Hold-Out English Professor at Virginia Military Institute Is on Paid Leave

Kurt J. Ayau, an English professor at the Virginia Military Institute whose status was in limbo after the institute accepted a resignation that he did not formally offer, is now on an indefinite paid leave. Mr. Ayau was part of a group of professors who filed a complaint accusing department leaders of creating a hostile workplace. The rest of the group left the institute, and Mr. Ayau had also said he would depart. The institute then accepted his intent to resign, prompting him to protest and throwing his status into question. He said that after meeting with the institute’s dean of the faculty, he had accepted VMI’s offer of the leave, and took it as a way to maintain his income while he looks for another job.

According to a letter from VMI Dean Wane Schneiter to Ayau confirming the “indefinite” leave, Ayau will receive his full pay and benefits. His salary, according to public records, was $56,800 last school year. Ayau said he understands the leave is for one year.

The letter quotes the VMI Faculty Handbook that extended leaves may be granted when “in the best interests of the faculty member and the Institute.”

VMI spokesman Stewart MacInnis said he could not comment on the situation because it’s a personnel matter.

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