3 Eastern Michigan University Officials Fired Over Rape-Murder Cover-Up to Get a Combined $550,000 Severence

Three Eastern Michigan University administrators who admitted lying to cover-up the rape and murder of a student last year will receive a combined $550,000 in severance packages, documents show.

President John Fallon was fired, and Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Vick and Public Safety Director Cindy Hall lost their jobs Monday at the 23,500-student public university.

Severance agreements obtained by The Ann Arbor News under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Vick and Hall will be allowed to retire and collect pension and benefits. They also will receive a year's salary under the agreements, totaling $245,253 for both administrators. Hall and Vick also will receive payments for some of their unused vacation and sick time.

Fallon's salary was $225,000 a year. His contract was to run until July 2010, said university spokesman Ward Mullens. According to the terms of Fallon's contract, he would be paid the equivalent of one year's base salary if the board fired him.

Vick, who worked at Eastern for 34 years, told the paper he felt the settlement was fair. He said he will take time off to travel but likely will work again somewhere.

Hall started at the school in 1979.

The body of the slain student, Laura Dickinson, 22, was discovered Dec. 15 in her dorm room. At the time, university officials told her parents and the media that she died of asphyxiation but that there was no sign of foul play, despite evidence to the contrary.

It was not until another Eastern student was arrested in late February and charged with murder that her family and fellow students learned she had been raped and killed.

The student accused in Dickinson's death, Orange Taylor III, of Southfield, has pleaded not guilty to murder and criminal sexual conduct charges. He is scheduled for trial Oct. 15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.