UK Board of Trustees expresses frustration over Barnhart's new deal

Thomas Beisnerover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Thomas BeisnerThomas Beisner
When Lee Todd gave Mitch Barnhart a contract extension last week, ensuring that he would remain as UK's athletic director through 2019, it seemed a bit curious considering Todd's lame-duck status as he prepares to leave office in June.  The new deal, which was awarded for what Todd called "exemplary performance", essentially married the yet-to-be-named new president to Barnhart.  A lot of you thought that might not have been the most efficient move for the school.  Turns out, some on the Board of Trustees agree. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, some on the board felt that they should have not only been kept in the loop by Todd on the extension, which one member said she only heard about after reading about it in the media, but the Board of Trustees should have been the final authority on its approval.  UK's administrative regulations give Todd the authority to approve the contract parameters of employees who report directly to him, but the members of the Board of Trustees expressed various disappointments that centered around an outgoing president keeping them in the dark on the issue - especially after one member told Todd that he had reservations about the timing of the new deal and how it would affect the search for Todd's successor - and think that the new agreement is actually a new contract, not an extension, and actually falls under their umbrella.  As one member of the board put it, "it's a bit like telling your boss what to do."  Oh, how we'd all love to be able to do that. Ultimately, there is nothing that can be done at this point, and Barnhart's deal is set in stone.  The public dissension, though, seems to highlight a bit of a division and certainly can't help the school's quest to find the best candidate possible to succeed Todd.  No matter how "exemplary" Barnhart's performance was deemed to be by Todd, this simple fact that this type of dirty laundry was made behind the scenes is frustrating. Herald-Leader story

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2021-09-26