The Portland Community College board of directors voted 7-0 Monday night to fire President Jeremy Brown and pay him $300,000 in severance.
The move comes less than two years after PCC hired Brown in July 2013. As WW first reported in April, the board has been unhappy with Brown for some time, and he recently applied for a community college job in Arkansas. He has also recently been named a finalist for two open positions at California community colleges, Peralta Community College District and Coast Community College.
Brown's no-cause firing takes effect immediately. But he will remain on the payroll until June 30.
His three-year contract, which was to have run through June 2016, included a provision that allowed the board to end it early. However, that clause also required PCC to pay Brown at least one year's salary, if it did so. Brown made about $200,000 a year, not including monthly allowances for housing, a car and other expenses.
On top of the $300,000 payment, the severance agreement also calls for PCC to pay $11,080 for Brown's attorney costs stemming from settlement negotiations. The board began meeting in frequent executive sessions in March.
In exchange for the payments, Brown has agreed not to sue PCC.
The chairwoman of PCC's board, Deanne Palm, issued a carefully worded statement after the vote.
"It was a mutually agreed upon separation," Palm tells WW. "We both agreed we were going in different directions, and both parties agreed this was the best outcome for the institution."
A press release following the vote offered no specific praise for Brown's leadership. Instead it acknowledged accomplishments at PCC that happened during Brown's tenure, including the board's adoption of a five-year strategic plan.
Sylvia Kelley, PCC's executive vice president, will serve as acting president until the college can appoint an interim president.
Brown came to PCC from Dowling College on Long Island. He served as president from 2011 to 2013, when he was ousted by that college's board, according to Newsday.