Earlier this month I was the first to report that UND President Mark Kennedy’s personal assistant had received a promotion to chief of staff, a $30,000 per year raise, and a $25,000 yearly allowance to begin working remotely from Texas.
Today the University of North Dakota announced that they would be moving on from that arrangement, letting the employee Angelique Foster go later this year:
“While I still believe UND would benefit from the continuity Ms. Foster would offer to UND in the role of Chief of Staff, after listening to concerns, Ms. Foster and I have determined it is in the best interest for her to stay on working on campus until April and then work remotely for up to six months to allow for us to transition someone new into the role of Chief of Staff,” UND President Mark Kennedy said in a statement. “We do not want this issue to continue to distract from the great work taking place at UND.”
Apparently Foster will continue working on-campus until April, and then will work remotely from Texas for another six months, while a replacement is hired.
Back when Kennedy’s administration was defending this move they argued that a chief of staff replacement couldn’t be hired for less than $189,000 per year in salary. It will be interesting to see who they hire, and what the compensation level is. Multiple people who have applied for this job in the past have contacted me saying they would have accepted far less in salary.
Anyway, while this is a victory for common sense, it’s a drop in the bucket in the context of lavish salaries for administrators in higher education in general.
Earlier today I wrote a story about another friend of Kennedy’s who collected a very large monthly salary to work part-time.
The rule of thumb on budgets for public institutions of higher education is that, from the perspective of higher education administrators, they’re always too small. But those same administrators spend with an open hand.
This debacle illustrates the need for closer scrutiny, and tighter oversight.