A public university in Texas is paying its newly-appointed vice president of diversity and inclusion a sweet salary that is more than any governor in any state makes.
The taxpayer-funded school is the University of North Texas, reports Campus Reform.
The lavishly-paid state employee is Joanne Woodard. She will receive $205,000 annually for performing her administrative duties.
Woodard’s annual salary of $205,000 is $17,083 per month. It is $3,943 per week.
The salary puts Woodard squarely in the top one percent of all incomes nationally.
Questionable spending decisions have plagued the University of North Texas recently. Last June, an audit ordered by then-Gov. Rick Perry of the public universities across Texas discovered that officials at North Texas had misspent $83.5 million in public funding over the course of 10 years, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The state’s auditors determined that the free-spending officials at the school spent most of the $80.6 million in tax money on improper employee benefits. Officials also inappropriately spent about $3 million on salaries.
This fall, the Texas state auditor’s office called on North Texas to refund at least $75.6 million to state coffers during the next decade, the Morning News has reported.
School officials are strenuously defending their decision to pay a mid-level bureaucrat $205,000 per year.
“UNT’s response is that Joanne Woodard’s salary is in keeping with the average rate of salary for vice presidents at other public universities in the state of Texas,” interim news manager Margarita Venegas told Campus Reform.
The median annual income for an entire family in Denton, Texas, where the school is located, is $68,531.
Thus, by herself, Woodard brings home 299 percent of the income of an entire family living in the same city where she now works.
Woodard is getting a big raise to move to the North Texas campus on the very outer edge of the endless sprawl of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. In her previous administrative gig at North Carolina State University, she brought home $150,000 per year.
“In Joanne, I believe we have an experienced, energetic thought leader who will work collaboratively with academic and administrative units to ensure UNT is a welcoming environment for all members of our university,” UNT president Neal Smatresk said when he announced Woodard’s hiring, Campus Reform notes.
North Texas is, of course, most well-known as the school mass murder Charles “Tex” Watson attended before he dropped out, moved to Los Angeles, joined the Manson Family and viciously slaughtered five people. The perennially awful football team is also notable.
In April, students at UNT petitioned school officials to replace current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as the keynote speaker at the school’s 2015 spring commencement ceremony. The Change.org petition opposing Abbott’s invitation ultimately garnered 2,590 signatories. (RELATED: Handicapped Governor ‘Does Not Represent Diversity’ For University Of North Texas Grads)