URBANA — Lisa Troyer, former chief of staff for University of Illinois President Michael Hogan, has been formally offered a full-time salaried faculty position at the Urbana campus, The News-Gazette has learned.
Troyer had not yet responded Thursday to the appointment letter, which would give her a full-time position in the Department of Psychology, according to Provost Richard Wheeler.
Troyer, a sociologist by training, was given a zero-time tenured appointment in the department after she was hired as Hogan's executive assistant. She joined Hogan in the president's office in July 2010 at a salary of $195,000. Last fall it increased to $200,850.
Troyer resigned Jan. 4 amid an investigation into anonymous emails sent from her computer to the University Senates Conference, a faculty group that at the time was drafting a report on enrollment management. The topic, which includes everything from recruiting to offering financial aid to students, had become a source of contention between some faculty and Hogan, who hired consultants to outline a number of reforms in that area. The emails attempted to persuade members of the group to not come to a consensus on the issue.
Troyer denied sending the anonymous messages, but an outside investigation concluded she was likely responsible and found no evidence that anyone else had used or hacked into her computer.
Wheeler, whose office oversees academic appointments on the Urbana campus, said inherent in Troyer's July 2010 psychology appointment was the assumption that she would assume a full-time position in the department when she left her administrative post.
He declined to reveal the amount of her salary offer.
"We arrived at a salary based on an analysis of faculty salaries in the Department of Psychology," he said.
He said the campus hasn't received a formal response from Troyer but added, "It needs to be done soon ... to get her on the payroll, basically."
Wheeler declined to provide more details, saying it was a personnel matter.
Troyer's university administration salary ended the day she resigned, according to UI spokesman Tom Hardy. She was paid on Jan. 16 as part of the regular payroll, but at a prorated amount because she did not work the entire month, he said.
"Dr. Troyer and the campus are in the process of transitioning her into the tenured-faculty appointment she holds" in the department, Hardy said.
A call to the department's head was not immediately returned on Thursday. An email to Troyer also was not returned.
Before arriving at the UI, Troyer was senior associate to the president and chief of staff for Hogan and a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. She earned a master's degree and doctorate from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington.
About 100 people with the rank of instructor or above are affiliated with the UI's Department of Psychology, including about 60 full-time faculty, according to its website. It ranked seventh in the country in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 ratings of psychology programs, the most recent available.
Troyer is listed as a faculty member in the social-personality psychology division, which is ranked 11th nationally by U.S. News. Its graduate program is one of the oldest in the country.
Troyer studies "innovative problem-solving in groups and organizations," according to the website.
Having tenure is not a guarantee for lifetime employment, said Matthew Finkin, a UI law professor who chairs the Urbana senate's Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. He declined to speak specifically about Troyer's employment with the university, but did say the UI statutes outline a process for removing a tenured faculty member, and that process is initiated from the president's office.
The investigative report released earlier this month by the university did not come to any conclusions on whether Troyer violated any university policies, though it did mention two policies applicable to the case: the university's Code of Conduct and the campus "Policy on Appropriate Use of Computers and Network Systems." The code calls for employees to act with "integrity" and "honesty," and the campus policy says emails must include the sender's "proper identity."
Hardy said the report, conducted by the UI's ethics office along with staff from two outside firms, focused on identifying the sender of the anonymous emails and determining whether or not there was a potential security breach of the UI's information technology system. There are no plans for any additional investigation into whether or not those two policies were violated, according to Hardy.
However, "the campus will consider all aspects of the report as it determines the transition of Dr. Troyer to a faculty position," he said.