Gwendolyn Boyd

Gwendolyn Boyd is one of the few black female university presidents in the United States, but what singles out Boyd in her new position at Alabama State University isn’t necessarily her race or her sex—it’s the peculiar contract that she agreed to upon accepting her presidency.

The single 58-year-old gets a $300,000 annual salary, a car and the presidential residence but is not allowed to have anyone who is not her husband stay with her for extended periods of time—that includes romantic interests and even family members, the Huffington Post reports.

According to the news site, the stipulation in 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."

Bizarre as the requirement is, the ASU alum, who is also a Yale graduate, doesn’t find anything wrong with the contract. "I do live alone, so it was not problematic for me," she said.

However, not everyone sees it that simply. Raymond Cotton, a lawyer who spoke to Inside Higher Ed about the unusual clause, said that it could be illegal.


"I don’t know of any state that has the right to invade someone’s residence, even if the state owns that residence," Cotton said. "To convey that residence and dictate what kind of romantic relationship you can have in that facility—I mean, she’s not in prison."

The contract is good for two years, after which the university’s board of trustees will decide whether to extend it for another two years.

Read more at the Huffington Post.