By Art Gallagher
I’m not talking about her lascivious lifestyle—that’s no longer newsworthy and I still don’t get the entertainment allure of the train wreck while there are so many real disasters on TV.
I’m talking about her $32K speaking engagement at Rutgers.
Compared to the largess that Rutgers is bestowing on outgoing president Richard McCormick, Snooki’s $32K is cheap. McCormick with receive a one year paid sabbatical at his salary of $550,000. After his full year paid vacation he will return to the faculty as a history professor with a $335,000 salary.
I don’t have a major gripe with McCormick personally. His is just one more example of a golden parachute for a government employee . I was surprised to read that he is making only $550,000 to lead the 57,000 student university. That sounds cheap compared to former Brookdale College President Peter Burnham’s salary and perks before Freeholder John Curley tore down that ivory tower. McCormick’s compensation sounds cheap, given the job, compared to the numerous $200K plus superintendent of school salaries we’ve read about throughout New Jersey before Governor Christie reformed that absurdity. McCormick’s golden parachute is a bargin compared the almost $800K the former superintendent of the Keansburg schools tried make off with.
McCormick hasn’t been as blantently greedy as some in government. He refused to take raises to his salary from 2002 through 2008 and he hasn’t taken another raise since the 4.75% bump he got in 2008. Also, in 2008 he donated the $100K performance bonus that the Board of Trustees awarded him back to the university to fund financial aid to students based on need and performance. It’s tough to make a case that McCormick’s a bad guy.
But the system that the government class designed for themselves and continues to exploit is increasingly tough to take and increasingly difficult to pay for. It’s tough to write the tax check knowing that too much of it is going to pay high five figure pensions and lifetime health benifits for men and women in their forties and fifties. McCormick’s case is just the latest reminder of all that is broken in New Jersey.