Middling, Taxpayer-Funded Illinois University Pays Diversity Bureaucrat More Than ANY State Governor

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A second-rate public university in Illinois is paying its recently-appointed chief diversity officer a sweet salary that is more than any governor in any U.S. state makes.

The free-spending, taxpayer-funded school is Northern Illinois University, The College Fix reports.

The extravagantly-paid state employee is Vernese Edghill-Walden. Thanks to Illinois taxpayers, she will receive $185,000 as an annual base salary for performing her administrative duties. She will also receive an additional $20,000 for allowances and expenses.

Edghill-Walden’s base salary of total annual salary of $205,000 is $17,083 per month. It is $3,943 per week.

The salary puts Woodard, who holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Delaware, squarely in the top one percent of all incomes nationally.

The median annual household income in DeKalb, Ill., where Northern Illinois U. is located, is $37,719, according to the U.S. Census.

Thus, by herself, Woodard brings home 443 percent more than a whole family lives on in the same city where she now works.

“Northern Illinois University serves one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse regions in the country,” NIU spokesman Joseph King told The College Fix. “We believe that there is great value in that diversity. By creating this position we are trying to ensure that all of our students will reap the benefits of living and learning on a campus filled with many cultures and points of view.”

Edghill-Walden started her new taxpayer-funded, $205,000 job at NIU on Aug. 1. Her super-fancy, full title is: senior associate vice president for academic diversity and chief diversity.

She begins her new job at a time when the state of Illinois faces significant economic turmoil.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed a budget which would cut higher-education spending by 30 percent and massively slash pension benefits for Illinois state employees.

Rauner, who was elected in 2014, has foregone his own salary of $179,400. He receives $1 a year for his work as governor.

About 60 miles away from DeKalb, the Chicago Public Schools faced a $1.1 billion deficit this summer including a mammoth $634 million pension payment which came due — and was paid — on June 30.

Northern Illinois is, of course, most famous for awarding a bachelor’s degree to Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos and for enacting an acceptable Internet use policy last summer that temporarily blocked student access to websites deemed “unethical.” A student reported that the policy extended to Wikipedia, the free content Internet encyclopedia. (RELATED: Taxpayer-Funded University Now Monitors Student Traffic To ‘Blocked’ Sites, Like Wikipedia)

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