Former Student Government adviser Alex Krumm signed a settlement agreement with Iowa State University in conjunction with the Iowa Board of Regents agreeing to a $47,000 severance payment.
Krumm, who was hired in June 2019, took down a photo from his Instagram page with his face painted black in October 2019. The post sparked a controversy that culminated in a protest where students demanded Krumm should be fired.
The photo was posted March 29, 2015, with the caption “#throwbacksunday? Mime at Wartburg in 2008? I think was ‘08 anyway…”
During his time enrolled at Wartburg College, Krumm participated in a production of "The Wartburg Mime" where he painted his face a variety of colors, including black.
"The Wartburg Mime" is a play that "depicts stories from the Bible, many centering around Jesus and his life," according to the 2009 Wartburg College Yearbook.
In 2009, Wartburg College's yearbook featured a section titled “Mime” that featured multiple performers, including Krumm, who had yellow, green, blue and red paint on his face in a photo.
“Although no words were spoken, the actions spoke a powerful message,” according to the 2009 Wartburg College Yearbook. “Many audience members felt that the silence made each movement more meaningful.”
The Board of Regents released a personnel settlement agreement between Krumm and Iowa State University. They negotiated the agreement “in good faith to fully set forth the terms of Krumm’s separation of employment with the university,” according to the document.
The agreement states Krumm has voluntarily resigned from his position, which was effective March 1, 2020, and will not seek or accept employment with the university anytime in the future, according to the document. Krumm and the university agreed he would stay on paid administrative leave until the time of his resignation, which the settlement stated was March 1, 2020.
In the agreement, a separation payment of $47,000 was paid to Krumm from the university. The payment is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing, according to the document. In addition to the separation payment, Krumm will receive his current salary, all applicable university benefits and any unused vacation time.
Iowa State will provide Krumm outplacement assistance, a service that provides former employees assistance in finding new jobs, up to a year from the day he resigned, March 1, 2021, or if Krumm is reemployed. In the case Krumm is reemployed, he is to notify Iowa State within 10 days.
Krumm and Iowa State agreed to a non-disparagement clause, meaning neither will take any action that will negatively impact the other. This includes either party refrain conduct or communications — verbal, written or digital — that will negatively impact Krumm, any of the released parties and respective agents including family, employees, students, administrators and representatives.
The document states if Krumm or Iowa State are asked to comment on the agreement, the individual response will be “they mutually agreed that it was in their best interest to end Krumm’s employment relationship with the university and to enter into this agreement.”
Iowa State and Krumm also agreed to omit any details and discussions of the agreement, the discussion leading to the agreement or additional information related to Krumm’s employment timeline. Krumm is able to discuss the agreement with legal and financial advisers and immediate family while Iowa State can speak about the agreement with the Board of Regents and the attorney general’s office, along with other parties that are required by law.