Many Twin Cities editorials have discussed the gap between former athletics director Norwood Teague’spost-resignation consultant position and University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s promise that the University of Minnesota will not tolerate sexual harassment. However, no writer has analyzed the economic concerns motivating this gap.
Absent other factors incentivizing Teague’s retention, it must be the case that the University cannot replace Teague with another consultant without losing money. In other words, it must be that, for every dollar invested in non-Teague consultants, the net return will be less than if that dollar had been invested in Teague.
I call the difference between these returns the “Teague Premium.” Because real figures are unobtainable and because the nature of fundraising campaigns complicates the formula, the value of the Teague Premium is hard to define. But the principle is easy to understand — the University must retain Teague because not doing so will have a cost.
The Teague Premium might be substantial. It is, after all, the price the University is paying for deviating from the principle of non-tolerance for sexual harassment. Whatever its value, the Teague Premium is a good measure of the University’s commitment to fighting sexual harassment — and a good measure of the price of Kaler’s word.