The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting first reported on J. Campbell “Cam” Cantrill III in 2016, when he took a one-year special assignment that paid more than $137,000. The role of “special assistant to the president” of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System was part of a settlement Cantrill signed after a months-long investigation into his workplace conduct.
The Kentucky community college system reassigned its top attorney earlier this month to a newly created “special assistant” position soon after wrapping up a monthslong investigation of his office behavior.
News of the $815,741 paid last year to retired Kentucky Community & Technical College System President Michael McCall has drawn expressions of outrage from lawmakers, college employees, citizens and the state’s secretary of education.
State Sen. Christian McDaniel read from a Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting article on the Senate floor Thursday and called for an investigation of the compensation of all former state university and college presidents.
Almost a year after the president of Northern Kentucky’s state community college retired amid running tensions with its board of directors, the college’s foundation will begin paying him a $348,000 incentive in July.
Despite settling a lawsuit years ago to balance the state’s top university boards, Gov. Steve Beshear has made these boards even more politically lopsided. Today they are stacked with Democrats, in violation of state laws, and dominated by trustees who helped bankroll Beshear’s campaigns.
Upset that retired Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Michael McCall is taking a $324,000 consulting fee when the system has been running in the red, its professors and staff members are asking him to decline the money. McCall retired Jan. 15 after running the statewide system more than 16 years. Well before that, though, the KCTCS Board of Regents granted him a contract paying him his last base salary to serve one year as president emeritus. McCall would serve as an adviser to his successor, Jay Box, and help build leadership-development programs.
But the system’s Kentucky Faculty/Staff Alliance, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers union, called the deal “fiscally irresponsible.” The system finished each of McCall’s last three years with a financial deficit, and union leaders stress that tuition has been raised and teacher raises have been small.
The school system defines what exactly former leader Michael McCall will do in his year as president emeritus. McCall, one of the highest-paid community college administrators in the country, received a generous package upon his retirement from KCTCS.