Shonrock remains on leave, no interim president named yet

The sign in the President's office in the Library and Academic Resources Center that still displays President Michael Shonrock's name.
Photo by Tyler Keohane

MEGAN COURTNEY | News Editor

No official announcement from the university had been made early Wednesday about who the acting president is after Michael Shonrock was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday.

Jerry Dobson, Shonrock’s attorney, said Shonrock’s contract allows Lindenwood to fire Shonrock without “good cause.” But if the university fires him without “good cause,” the school would owe him salary and benefits through May of 2020. Dobson estimated that amount to be between $700,000 – $800,000.

Dobson said that could cause “an enormous liability for Lindenwood.”

If Lindenwood does have cause for termination, Dobson said, the university has to “meet the strict definition of cause.”

“Our position is to have no cause on which to fire Shonrock,” Dobson said.

Shonrock could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday morning.

But on Tuesday, Shonrock confirmed that he had been placed on leave. He said he received a letter from the board of trustees chair, J. Michael Conoyer, on Tuesday morning, saying the letter contained no reason for the decision.

While Shonrock is on leave, he is being paid, but he is not allowed to be anywhere on campus besides his home, and cannot contact any university employees.

Prior to being placed on leave, Shonrock said that a contract extension had been discussed. In 2017, Shonrock earned $378,764 according to a document the university has to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

A board meeting is set for Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the J. Scheidegger Center, and Shonrock said his “gut feeling” is that only a small member of board members know about the decision.

Posy Durr, Lindenwood Student Government president, said she is upset with the board “because they lack transparency,” but because Lindenwood is a private university, “they don’t have to tell us anything.”

Student government is trying to remain neutral, Durr said.

“For those of us who attend the board meeting, we’re mainly there because we want answers,” she said.

Durr is encouraging students to attend the board meeting on Friday. It’s unclear whether the meeting will be open.

Chairman Conoyer could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Facebook Comments
mm
About Megan Courtney 208 Articles
Megan is our on-staff entertainment master. Music is her passion, and she makes sure to bring you the best entertainment news. Our super senior Megan is a long-time employee at Sam's Club outside of school and is a Member Service Cashier. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Lindenwood Community of Odyssey. When she's not whipping up concert or album reviews, you can catch her hanging out in the LARC which is her favorite spot on campus.

1 Comment

  1. Shonrock has done so many good things for this campus and it has showed with the attendance of students. Due to a large influx of freshman students at the beginning of Fall 18’ semester, the freshman quad was created for the increase of students. If shonrock was doing something in the wrong direction, then why is there an increase of new students. If the Board is doing this because they disagree with his advocacy for students then shame on them. The students are what matters when it comes to university policy and they should be considered whenever policy is in question. I think I speak for many students when I say that Shonrock is someone who we want to stay. He has improved the University, even in the two years that I have attended. My message to the board is that if you do in fact fire Shonrock and change the policies back to the old ways which we have progressed from, then it will only hurt you in the end. Anger your students and you lose business, it’s simple.
    -MD

Comments are closed.