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Affair with president's wife shakes Vermont university

By Jason McLure

LITTLETON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - A month after Daniel Fogel resigned as president of the University of Vermont, a top school fundraiser has also left amid an investigation into his affair with Fogel's wife.

Michael Schultz, an associate vice president for development at the school in Burlington, Vermont, accepted a severance package and departed on Wednesday, a university spokesman said on Thursday.

The school's board of trustees conducted a review of the relationship between Schultz and Rachel Kahn-Fogel, the president's wife and a volunteer in the fundraising office.

Schultz, who earned a doctorate after writing a dissertation on the proper role of a university president's spouse, had received numerous highly personal communications from Kahn-Fogel, over several years, according to the review.

Kahn-Fogel's conduct was "clearly inappropriate and imprudent" but did not violate state laws or school policies, according to a copy of the review released on Wednesday.

"I want to express my regret that this situation was allowed to continue for as long as it did," said Trustee Chairman Robert Cioffi.

The review also found no wrong-doing in Schultz earning his doctorate with the university-approved dissertation "Elucidating the Role of the University CEO's Spouse in Development, Alumni Relations, and Fundraising."

Fogel, whose contract ran through June 2012, resigned from the university last month citing "deeply personal reasons" and saying he needed to devote more time to take care of his wife and himself. He was awarded a 17-month paid leave of absence by the university.

The review concluded that the role of the university's president's wife as a volunteer in the fundraising office "caused confusion as to the scope of Mrs. Kahn-Fogel's authority and discretion," the trustees report said.

Fogel, in a statement, said the review of his wife's conduct represented "an important step toward ensuring that future problems are precluded or that they are at very least minimized," Fogel said in a statement.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)

Corrects spelling of Schultz.

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