Wisconsin Paid Alvarez $1.18M Upon Leaving AD Post

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Barry Alvarez received a lump sum of more than $1.18 million, much of it stemming from unused vacation time, when he retired June 30 from the athletic director position he held for 17 years at the University of Wisconsin.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Alvarez, who earned a total salary of $1.55 million at the time of his retirement, didn't use any of his allotted 176 hours of vacation time or 40 hours of personal time in the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended June 30 — in other words, his final 12 months on the job. He also had 56 hours of leave carried over from 2019-20.

Alvarez banked the maximum amount of vacation time allowed over his 31 total years at UW as head football coach and athletic director, leaving him with 1,272 hours — more than 31 weeks — of unused leave. He amassed 1,000 of those hours of leave from 2000, when he became eligible to bank unused hours, to 2020. He elected for a one-time payout of $301,133, minus withholdings, to cash out the total balance.

The rest of Alvarez's parting package came from his additional compensation agreement with the UW Foundation and Alumni Association, according to an accounting by a school spokesperson, the State Journal reported.

Alvarez's deal with the UW Foundation and Alumni Association to supplement his $500,000 annual salary from the university called for a $375,000 lump-sum payment if he was still in the job Jan. 1, 2022. That was in addition to quarterly payments of $168,750 he was to receive July 1, Oct. 1 and Jan. 1, 2022.

All of those scheduled deposits  — minus withholdings — were pooled together for a one-time payment as if Alvarez was still the athletic director into next year. University spokesperson John Lucas told the State Journal that was because Alvarez had enough banked vacation hours to continue on the payroll through early 2022 if he chose that route.

The $881,250 from the UW Foundation and Alumni Association represents private gift funds designated for use by the athletic department, Lucas said. The rest is in line with UW System policies for employees who retire with unused vacation and personal time.

According to the State Journal, Alvarez's successor, former deputy AD Chris McIntosh, stands to make $940,000 in his first year, with $30,000 annual increases. 

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