In Michigan as in the rest of the United States, most employees are at-will employees with no employment contract. High level or executive employees, however, are often in a position to negotiate an employment contract that can, among other things, protect them from discharge at will. For people in this position, setting the terms of the employment contract prior to execution is very important. Once a person is hired, they have no leverage to negotiate a better deal.
Employment contracts are executed between employers and employees so that the terms and conditions of employment, including severance pay in cases of termination, are clear to both parties. This is standard everywhere in the country, including Michigan. Today, most employment contracts signed by senior executives in U.S. corporations include a change-in-control clause.
According to a recent news report, the Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University has unanimously approved a one-year extension of the employment contract of its current president. He has been serving as the president of WMU since 2007 and the present extension will carry his tenure till the end of 2017.