State auditors: UConn Health's $192k pay-off to CEO was 'wasteful'

State auditors called Farmington-based UConn Health's decision to pay former CEO John Dempsey $192,500 following his resignation "a waste of resources", according to the CT Mirror.

"Payments made by UConn Health should have some discernable benefit to the institution," auditors John Geragosian and Robert Ward argued in the state's official report. 

UConn Health policy currently allows administrators to give lump sum payments to employees in place of official notice during layoffs, position elimination or reorganization. State auditors recommended the health center only administer lump sum payments when the resigning employee possesses no other skill sets that can benefit the institution during interim or transition periods.

"It is the agency's position that the lump sum payment in question was a reasonable risk management decision that was consistent with Board of Trustees approved policy," health center officials responded. "The CEO position is a highly visible one with access to a range of sensitive information."

In the report, auditors also raised concerns about UConn Health's lack of formal policy for deciding maximum moving compensation levels for employees. While UConn-Storrs limits moving expense reimbursement to $7,100, auditors found some employees received up to $18,000.

The health center agreed to the need for formal compensation policies for employees, but officials also argued capped reimbursement "could inhibit recruiting in the highly competitive marketplaces in which it competes for talent."

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