Alabama State University Catches Heat For New President’s “No Cohabitation” Contract

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Historical black university Alabama State recently hired a new president, Gwendolyn Boyd, who is an alumna of  Alabama State University (ASU) and the first black woman to receive a Master’s of Science degree in Engineering from Yale University. As part of her new position, Boyd will receive a $300,000 salary, a car, and a presidential residence. But something she won’t have is any male company because according to her contract, Boyd, who is 58 years old, is forbidden to have lovers spend the night for an extended period of time. The contract reads:

“For so long as Dr. Boyd is president and a single person, she shall not be allowed to cohabitate in the president’s residence with any person with whom she has a romantic relation.”

Lawyer Raymond Cotton who specializes in higher education presidential contracts stated the language used in the contract is illegal. He shared with Business Insider: .

“No board that I know of, certainly that I would advise, would have anything to do with a clause like this. How would you enforce it? Would you go marching into a president’s home and say, ‘Stop that, get your hands off him or her!'”

Although Boyd’s contract is questionable, the new president doesn’t seem to have a problem with it. She shared with ABC News:

“I can read; I read my contract thoroughly. I knew what I was signing, and I have no issue with it at all.”

Alabama State University also shared with the news outlet that Boyd’s contract ensures her image will remain flawless as she will be the image-maker as well as living brand of the university. Elton Dean, who is the chairman of the ASU Board of Trustess, shared that Boyd agreed to these restrictions when she could have negotiated the contract.

Based on our own research, ASU only has two dormitories for students that are co-educational, the rest are single sex. Due to the southern demographic, we should not expect an institution in the most conservative region to “allow” their employee to play house unless she is actually a wife. One should also note, Boyd’s contract states: “for so long as Dr. Boyd is president and a single person, she shall not be allowed to cohabitate in the president’s residence.” Therefore, if Boyd decides to get married during her presidency her husband can move right on in.


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