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March 11, 2016

According to an investigation by the Boston Business Journal, former Bridgewater State University president Dana Mohler-Faria collected more than $269,000 in unused sick time before he retired last summer

Former Bridgewater State University president Dana Mohler-Faria is under investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for allegedly cashing out more than $269,000 in accrued sick time.

The investigation follows analysis by the Boston Business Journal, which found Mohler-Faria collected more than a quarter million dollars in unused sick time before he retired last summer.

In a statement released on Friday the Department said Commissioner Carlos Santiago takes matters of compensation and benefits seriously and plans to review current policies.

Higher education experts say generous contracts that include guaranteed payouts are not uncommon in public higher education.

"It might be unused sick days. It might be a salary guaranteed for after they're president. Frequently there is outrage, but the provision was in the contract all along,” said Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed.

Such cash-outs are permissible under state law. In question is whether Mohler-Faria’s were properly approved.

Update 4:35 p.m.: State Auditor Suzanne Bump says she will meet with Bridgewater State's current leadership next week to review the findings of the school's internal investigation into Mohler-Faria. Based on that meeting, Bump may initiate a formal audit.

WGBH's Jim Braude comments on the Bridgewater State president awash in taxpayer dollars:

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