Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

A deadline looms for the Eugene 4J school board and its decision on whether to keep Superintendent Andy Dey.

The Eugene School District 4J board may be looking at a hefty price tag if they move to get rid of embattled Superintendent Andy Dey. 

The board reprimanded Dey Feb. 21 after concluding he retaliated against a female middle school teacher. 

Now, board members are debating whether to keep Dey or fire him. The 4J board meets Wednesday night in an open meeting and a closed executive session to discuss Dey’s fate. Dey has had the top job for less than two years.

Dey still has 16 months on his employment contract. If the school board lets him go, the district might face having to cash out the superintendent, who makes $240,240 annually, for the remaining time on this contract.

School board officials must decide about Dey quickly. The contract sets a March 15 deadline for the board to tell Dey whether they will extend his contract for another year. If they miss the deadline, Dey gets an automatic extension through the 2025-26 school year.

The details of Dey’s contract remained hidden until 4J released it on Feb. 27 in response to a request filed by Eugene Weekly under the Oregon public records law. 

It took a month for 4J officials to release the contract. 

EW began asking for the contract in January when breaking the story that Dey was under investigation for retaliating against the teacher. The newspaper made repeated requests, including in writing. 

4J officials released Dey’s contract one day after EW filed a petition with Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow, asking her to direct 4J to release other records requested by the newspaper. Oregon law requires public agencies to release public records within 15 business days of receiving a request.

This story was developed in partnership with the Local Reporting Initiative of the Catalyst Journalism Project at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. To learn more, visit