Michael Gargano

Michael Gargano, provost for the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, who resigned abruptly last month from his $224,554-a-year job, will be paid by the public college system through February, according to a separation agreement dated Nov. 14.

Michael Gargano, former provost of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
Michael Gargano, former provost of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities

He’ll earn his full paycheck — $8,603 biweekly — for nearly 16 weeks after he resigned.

The system will also continue paying for his cell phone, and allowed him to keep his work computer through February.

Gargano’s departure immediately after meeting with Board of Regents President Gregory Gray on Nov. 10 set off a firestorm of backlash from many faculty, who believed Gargano was their champion for changes they wished to see in the 90,000-student college system. Gargano resigned after just over seven months on the job.

News that there is a separation agreement comes after a spokesman for the system repeatedly told The Connecticut Mirror over the last three weeks that he was “not aware” of a separation agreement. Spokesman Michael Kozlowski also told the Mirror on the day after Gargano’s departure that he was no longer on the payroll.

“No, HR policies do not provide for that where a resignation occurs,” Kozlowski wrote in an email.

However, the Mirror was able to confirm Tuesday with the state comptroller’s office that Gargano received a full paycheck last Friday.

Shortly after asking for details about the discrepancy, the chief of staff for the system president provided The Mirror with a “Separation Agreement and General Release” signed by CSCU President Gregory Gray and Gargano.

The agreement restricts Gargano from making “any derogatory or defamatory statements abut his employment” at the 17-college and university system. In return, Gray will “serve as a reference with prospective employers” and will “reflect positively on his experience, work, characteristics and contributions to the BOR.” The Board of Regents also agrees not to share any details about his departure other than to say that he resigned.

Gargano has not answered numerous phone calls to his cell phone since he resigned.

Signatures affixed to the separation agreement between the provost and the system president.
Signatures affixed to the separation agreement between the provost and the system president.

The agreement does contain a provision that allows Gargano to work on assignments he receives from Gray “subject to mutual consent” and, if agreed upon, to complete them from “a remote duty station.”

Michael Kozlowski had nothing to say about the agreement.

“We are going to have to let the agreement stand on its own. It’s a personnel matter,” he said during a phone interview Tuesday.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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