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Barta signed ‘retirement agreement’ last week
Outgoing athletic director forfeits year of deferred compensation
IOWA CITY — University of Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta nearly a week ago signed a retirement agreement with the UI and the Board of Regents separating him from the institution Aug. 1 — without additional compensation beyond that date.
According to the arrangement, the UI will pay Barta his current base salary of $650,000 and all applicable benefits “for the duration of his employment.” He also will get deferred compensation “in accordance with the terms of his employment agreement.”
Barta, according to his contract, was to receive $350,000 for the first two years of the deferred compensation deal through June 30, 2021. For each subsequent year through June 30, 2024 — if Barta remained employed for the “entire year” — the UI was to contribute another $400,000. By leaving this summer, he will not be paid that last $400,000 in deferred compensation.
“If the director’s employment terminates prior to the last day of a plan year, no contribution shall be made for that plan year,” according to Barta’s contract.
The deal also states that, “in further consideration for Mr. Barta’s agreement, the university agrees to waive the 120-day notice requirement as well as the 12-month future employment restriction and its corresponding penalty" — as was outlined in a section of Barta’s original contract labeled ”termination by director.“
That section said Barta could terminate his contract “without cause” if he gave the university 120 days’ notice. From the date Barta signed his retirement agreement last week, 120 days would have brought him to Sept. 17.
“In the event of such termination, the university’s sole obligation to the director shall be payment of his compensation … through the date of such termination, and he shall forfeit the balance of his deferred compensation account,” according to his contract.
If Barta forfeited his job and found another athletics-related post within the next year, according to that contract clause, he would have had to pay the university an amount equal to a year’s worth of his salary.
Athletics spokesman Steve Roe said Friday the retirement “was a full and complete decision made by Gary Barta” and was not encouraged by the UI. The Gazette requested any communication or retirement letter from Barta to administrators, but the university did not provide any such documents Friday.
Barta has not announced that he has accepted another position.
The settlement agreement states, “Mr. Barta has notified the university of his desire to retire as the university’s director of athletics.”
Per the agreement, Barta will be allowed to stay on the UI health insurance plan, along with his wife, through his 65th birthday “or the date on which Mr. Barta becomes eligible for family health insurance coverage through a future employer.”
The settlement also compels Barta to “cooperate with the university and its attorneys in any legal matters related to or involving the university’s athletics department and events occurring during the term of his university employment,” although it does not mention any specific matter.
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