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At USF, it's hard to tell who's double-dipping

TALLAHASSEE — Of Florida's 11 public universities, only one tried to withhold records about how many of its employees were double-dipping.

That school: the University of South Florida.

The St. Petersburg Times asked each of the 11 plus St. Petersburg College for a list of its employees receiving pensions and salary. Only USF said it was unable to identify which of its employees had retired and returned to work.

USF officials said they had no such list and, even if they did, they would not release it. More than three weeks later, after serious prodding from Gov. Charlie Crist's Office of Open Government, USF said it would supply a list.

The other colleges supplied public records at no charge. USF charged $194.58. One school produced its list in a day, most others in a few days.

The other colleges provided people who could speak to their school's policies on rehiring retirees. USF offered vice president Carl Carlucci, who said that there were no institutional policies on who can be rehired at USF and that each decision is made by the college where the faculty member is employed.

A day later, USF vice president for communications Michael Hoad, who had been on the phone when the Times interviewed Carlucci, sent a "clarification'' e-mail. "What Carl was saying is he believes anyone who enters DROP should NOT be allowed to re-enter a salaried line,'' Hoad wrote.

Carlucci really meant to say there should be a national search for new tenured positions, Hoad said, and faculty members who return to teach should be part-time employees.

In the call with Carlucci, the Times asked him about the decision to retain Dr. Dominic J. Puglisi, director of the Stavros Center. He retired last December making $116,715 and returned in February making $139,082, plus a monthly pension of $3,998, on top of a lump sum payout of $260,872.

Carlucci said he doesn't know Puglisi or any of the other USF faculty members who have returned to work. "It's not a centralized decision,'' he said.

Puglisi's personnel file includes a personnel agreement allowing him to remain as director of the Stavros Center after he retired Dec. 31, 2007. It was signed by USF president Judy Genshaft.

At USF, it's hard to tell who's double-dipping 04/05/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 8:46am]
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