The financially strapped Institute for International Sport owes the University of Rhode Island $380,000, including money it advanced to the nonprofit group for founder Dan Doyle's salary, the school said.
The institute is located on the university campus, and URI has historically processed Doyle's paychecks, allowing him to receive state benefits. Doyle, a West Hartford resident, has been listed as a Rhode Island state employee since 1986.
According to university spokesman Dave Lavallee, the university advanced the institute the money, and it has not been paid back, he said. At least some of the money was advanced to the institute for Doyle's salary, he said.
The agreement was that Doyle's paycheck was processed by the university and then reimbursed by the institute, Lavallee said. The university is terminating that practice and any future employment opportunities that path through the institution, he said,
Lavallee said Doyle's annual salary was $70,000 plus $26,000 in fringe benefits. Institute documents show that Doyle's salary has been as high as $180,000.
Doyle has not been paid through the university since November, when he started getting paid by Middlebury College in Vermont, Lavallee said. The University of Rhode Island issued Doyle leave without pay and benefits on Nov. 19, he said.
"I stopped that Nov. 1," Doyle said of his arrangement with the state. "I'm not going back on [the state payroll]. I had no intention to."
Doyle's employment at Middlebury College was short-lived. The college announced Tuesday that Doyle resigned from his post at the school. The resignation was effective Sunday.
Middlebury made its announcement just hours after a story about his organization's financial problems was published in The Courant.
Doyle worked as the senior director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which opened on the Middlebury campus last month.
Middlebury College spokeswoman Sarah Ray said Tuesday that Doyle resigned for personal reasons. Doyle, however, said it was always his intention to resign shortly after the center was established.
Doyle says he approached Middlebury officials about creating the Center for Entrepreneurship in the fall of 2010 and said his job for the past 14 months has been to make that idea a reality. There was a mutual understanding that when the center opened, he would return his full attention to the Institute for International Sport, Doyle said.
"I resigned because my job was done," he said.
But a Jan. 19 press release issued by Middlebury College indicates that Doyle's departure was not expected. The release states that Doyle was planning to move his family to Vermont in the next few years to continue running the center.
Doyle says he meant that he and his family were talking about moving north once he retires.
"I did probably say that," he said.
In its statement Tuesday, Middlebury says the center's operations director and faculty director will take over Doyle's responsibilities at the college.
The center is not connected to the Institute for International Sport, but is an office of the college, Ray said. The only commonality is that Doyle was at one time employed by both organizations, she said.
The institute, which runs high-profile events like last year's World Scholar-Athlete Games and World Youth Peace Summit at the University of Hartford, is currently dealing with mounting debt, failed real estate ventures and an audit over its use of a $575,000 government grant.
It calls two buildings — one finished; one not — on the University of Rhode Island campus home, but announced Monday that it will leave its Rhode Island location in an effort to raise cash. Doyle says the institute plans to sell its buildings to help pay down its debt.
In addition, Doyle says his family has made what might be a multimillion-dollar commitment to the institute.
The audit of the government grant was called for by Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox and is expected to be complete soon. The state money was given to the institute a few years ago for the construction of the institute's second building — a space for a new Center for Sports Leadership. The money was spent, but the project remains incomplete.
The institute had an informal understanding with state officials that some of the $575,000 could be used for programming expenses, Doyle said, explaining that construction stalled because the institute did not get a separate $4 million grant that it was informally promised. That $4 million was to cover programming costs, he said.
Regardless, Doyle said the institute will complete construction on the building before leaving Rhode Island. It intends to leave the state by September and plans to announce a new location in May.
In addition to the Rhode Island buildings, the institute rents space inside an office building on Lewis Street in Hartford for its peace center. The center is devoted to exploring peace initiatives.
At one time, the institute also owned several properties on Bald Head Island in North Carolina, a vacation destination. Doyle said the properties, which included two homes, were meant to be an investment — a way to build an endowment, but the institute neither made money by renting out the homes or got cash from high property values. Property values plunged.
Three of the institute's vacant parcels of land and its two vacation homes have been lost to foreclosure. The institute is being sued by a bank over the last piece of property.Copyright © 2015, CT Now