Disagreements over leadership apparently do not rise to the level of forcing a "for cause" termination - instead there would need to be clear malfeasance. Attempting to force Carter out without paying him could have brought a court battle - not to mention would be a hard thing to do, given Carter's prominent status within the community.
Another major factor in keeping Carter on appears to be the length of his current contract, a five-year deal signed in August 2009 that obligates the university to employ him through summer 2014 and pay him his presidential salary, even if he is no longer president.
"Had it been, say, a three-year contract, it would have been very different," Rowe said.
If it had been a three-year contract, the obligation to employ Carter would be over this year.
Although lengthier contracts might reduce a university's flexibility, they are not unusual here. West Virginia University's President, Jim Clements, signed a five-year contract extension in April 2011.
The average university president serves less than nine years, according to a 2009 paper by Jim Monks, an economics professor at the University of Richmond.
Carter will now be tasked with helping to raise money for the university, something he had been criticized for failing to do enough of when he was president. Still, it appears the board thinks Carter will be able to raise more money each year than it is obligated to pay him.
University Board of Governors member Tom Susman said he thinks Carter's presence will be positive.
"I think he'll be an asset, and we'll know in a year if we get a return on the investment we hoped to get, and, also we have to honor our contractual obligation," Susman said.