Diary

Illinois University Diversity Officer To Make More Than Every Governor And Member Of Congress

Vernese Edghill-Walden, NIU diversity officer
Vernese Edghill-Walden, NIU diversity officer

Why are college students the nation over saddled with a combine student loan debt of around a trillion dollars?

Why does the cost(tuition) at public colleges continue to soar costing students, their families, and taxpayers $40,000 a year or more with no end in sight?

Well part of the problem lays with colleges and universities paying their administrators exorbitant salaries with lavish benefits.

Take for instance Northern Illinois University’s new diversity officer(it’s first ever) Vernese Edghill-Walden who will be getting a salary of $185,000 a year plus another $20,000 in allowances and expenses when she starts work on August 3rd.  That $205,000 in compensation, apparently not including health insurance or contributions to one of Illinois’ bankrupt public pension plans, who have a total debt of over $110 billion, is more than every member of Congress makes except for Speaker of the House [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ]. Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate make $174,000, the Senate Pro Tempore, [mc_name name=’Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’H000338′ ](R-UT) , makes $193,000, and Boehner gets $223,000. If one were to add the healthcare and pension costs of Edghill-Walden to here $205,000 compensation she would easily make more than All member of Congress; that is outlandish.

This one diversity officer at one university is also being paid more than EVERY Governor in the nation whose official salaries range from $70,000 to $187,000. Note some Governors don’t even take their salaries leaving that money in their states treasury or donating it to charity.

It is outrageous that one bureaucrat at one Illinois college is making more than most every lawmaker in the country, and lets be honest as much as we hate Congress and our state legislatures none of whom make anywhere near the $205,000 that Edghill-Walden is going to make, are a lot more important than she is in the grand scheme of things. Don’t get me wrong most members of Congress are grossly overpaid as well.

Speaking of overpaying Northern Illinois University’s President Doug Baker, who hired Edghilll-Walden, whose own salary continues the university’s habit of overpaying for paper pushers as he makes $450,000 a year.  That is $50,000 MORE than President Obama’s salary of $400,000.  I am no fan of President Obama’s but as commander-in-chief he’s a lot more important than the President of a university in Northern Illinois.

As USofArn has previously reported NIU President Baker paid a consultant buddy of his $495,000 in pay and compensation for 18 months of work(part-time) to help craft a strategic plan for the University and to help it come up with a way to deal with declining enrollment.  Some of that consultants compensation was improper and the University has been trying to get it back.

With Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner having to deal with a state budget that is billions of dollars out of balance he has attempted to reduce the amount of taxpayer funding colleges and universities like NIU get from the state, with NIU slated to lose over $29 million.  The University’s budget has been further hampered due to the partial government shutdown Illinois has been in after Rauner vetoed an unbalanced budget from Speaker Michael Madigan; that budget shutdown started July 1st as the state has no budget and negotiations between Madigan and Rauner have gone nowhere.  It should be noted Madigan’s salary of roughly $90,000 is also less than what NIU is paying its diversity officer.

One consultant, one University President, and one Diversity officer have and are costing the taxpayers and NIU students $1.15 million, money not well spent.

Cross posted from USofArn.com