Winthrop President returns husband’s salary to university

Posted June 12, 2014 1:40 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News, News
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Winthrop University President Jamie Comstock Williamson and her husband Larry have returned to the university the $27,000 he was paid during the last school year as a temporary employee.

The Rock Hill Herald reported Thursday that Larry Williamson was hired last September to be Winthrop’s senior counsel for strategic initiatives and worked until the end of May.

In a written statement from the President’s office Thursday afternoon, Williamson said her husband was, “paid for his work, but the money was secondary to giving him the credentials to be recognized as someone empowered to speak on Winthrop’s behalf. ”

Williamson, a retired Navy submarine captain, has worked in government relations and in fundraising in higher education and reported to Kimberly Faust, President Williamson’s chief of staff. Larry Williamson served on a series of local boards, representing his wife before the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation and the Knowledge Park Leadership group, among others.

“During the entire stint of his nine-month employment, we took great care to comply with the South Carolina Ethics Act,” President Williamson said.

Winthrop University’s Board of Trustees will meet Friday to discuss “contractual matters” relating to President Williamson, the details of which will be shielded from the public by Executive Session.

“I believe I must set a standard even greater than compliance with the law and hold myself to higher values grounded in honesty and integrity,” Williamson said. “I will not allow even the appearance of wavering from those values.   That is why Larry and I have returned the compensation paid to Larry by the university.”

 

FULL TEXT OF PRESIDENT WILLIAMSON’S STATEMENT:

Larry and I are honored to be associated with Winthrop and proud of the growing role the university is playing in the Rock Hill community.  Larry appreciated the opportunity to work on Winthrop’s behalf in his temporary, part-time role representing the university in Rock Hill and Columbia.

Larry was paid for his work, but the money was secondary to giving him the credentials to be recognized as someone empowered to speak on Winthrop’s behalf.  As a retired Navy captain and former government relations professional, Larry could work confidently in this capacity only if he knew his position was completely appropriate.  During the entire stint of his nine-month employment, we took great care to comply with the South Carolina Ethics Act.

As President, I believe I must set a standard even greater than compliance with the law and hold myself to higher values grounded in honesty and integrity.  I will not allow even the appearance of wavering from those values.   That is why Larry and I have returned the compensation paid to Larry by the university.

I remain proud of what Larry achieved for Winthrop.  I look forward to what everyone at Winthrop will accomplish together for our students and the community.

 

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