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Convicted UNH professor could get $75,000 buyout when he returns from suspension

Union Leader Correspondent

July 05. 2011 10:47PM

EDWARD LARKIN buyout possible 

DURHAM - University of New Hampshire professor Edward Larkin may be eligible for a buyout worth about $75,000 when he returns to his job in January following a semester-long suspension for exposing himself to a woman and her teenage daughter in Milford.

Aside from being suspended without pay, Larkin meets all the buyout's eligibility criteria, including being at least 59-years-old (he is 62) and working at UNH for at least 10 years (he has been there since 1985). Barring any major changes, Larkin will qualify for the money when he goes back to campus on Jan. 5.

'Once his suspension ends, he could elect to accept the (Separation Incentive Program) for the second separation date if he continues to meet all other eligibility requirements,' university spokesman Erika Mantz said.

Last week, numerous politicians, including Gov. John Lynch, blasted the arbitrator who ruled that Larkin should be suspended without pay for a semester, then allowed to return to campus.

'The governor believes the arbitrator's decision was wrong and that this professor does not belong in a classroom,' said Pamela Walsh, the governor's deputy chief of staff.

House Speaker William O'Brien said he was 'profoundly disappointed with the result of this case.'

'How contemptuous of the students that an arbitrator would ever consider putting this man in front of them as a teacher and, therefore, a role model,' he said.

Larkin did not return calls for comment and it's unclear whether he will pursue a buyout.

The buyouts, used to trim UNH's budget by offering employees a voluntary one-time payment to walk away from their jobs, are being offered in phases; Larkin will miss the first round. He may be eligible for the second round, which has an application deadline of February and would allow for departure following the spring 2012 semester.

The size of a buyout is calculated by multiplying 2.5 percent of a professor's salary by their years of service and then adding $15,000 to that total.

Larkin earned $88,961 in 2010, according to figures provided to the New Hampshire Union Leader, and will have been at the school for 27 years by 2012.

Using those figures, Larkin could potentially receive a buyout worth $75,048.

Even if Larkin opts for the buyout, he may not be accepted, said Dale Barkey, the chief negotiator for UNH's faculty union.

UNH can limit the number of people who receive a buyout based upon the sum of their age and years of service, called an eligibility index, Barkey said.

'We insisted upon that because we don't want them to have discretion on who they give it to,' he said.

Larkin's eligibility index would be about 89. Barkey said many professors eclipse that number because they are 65 years old or older and have been at UNH just as long, if not longer. It remains to be seen how many of them will pursue the buyout.

Larkin, a professor of German, exposed his genitals to a mother and her 17-year-old daughter in a Market Basket parking lot in July 2009 and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor indecent exposure, leading UNH administrators to try to fire him. Larkin contested the termination and an arbitrator ruled in his favor in April, saying he should be suspended without pay for the fall 2011 semester and allowed to return to campus the following term.

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