Wouldn’t it be great if we had a president who cared as much about cutting deals with nations who want to see us destroyed as stirring up racial division and hate in America? 

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Northern Illinois University just hired a chief diversity officer for $185,000 per year plus special perks, despite the strong possibility of state budget cuts for fiscal year 2016.

Vernese Edghill-Walden will take home more than the governor of Illinois in her new position as NIU’s first chief diversity officer.

The gig comes with a $10,000 discretionary budget to promote diversity issues on campus, as well as $833.34 per paycheck for “serving on various task forces, commissions, councils or committees affiliated with the university and/or serving as a representative of the university for similar groups at the local, regional, state or national level,” NIU spokesman Brad Hoey told the Daily-Chronicle.

“She’s really an impressive person,” NIU President Doug Baker told the news site. “I think we got an outstanding person to come in and work with us on (diversity issues.)”walden

The Council of State Governments’ “The Book of the States 2013” pegs Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s annual salary at $177,412.

The Illinois state budget is currently embroiled in political gridlock in Springfield, and most taxpayer-funded organizations like NIU are bracing for cuts. But Baker said the university hired Edghill-Walden with money leftover from 2015 after a task force last year suggested the school hire someone devoted to diversity, the Daily-Chronicle reports.

“We really needed someone waking up and going to sleep thinking about these issues, and really coordinating our activities,” he said. “We’ve had great diversity activities around the university, but they haven’t been as dovetailed as they could be.”

NIU Today reports Edghill-Waldon will be “expected to provide vision, leadership, and counsel on matters of diversity and inclusion, and to collaborate with all campus units and with the surrounding community to create a welcoming and respectful environment that values diversity as a dimension of excellence.”

“NIU has really great diversity programming now, and for me it is a great place to take the diversity effort to the next level. I am really impressed with the level of support and resources for diversity and inclusion that NIU has,” Edghill-Walden told the school news site. “I think my many years of multicultural programming and diversity work will be a tremendous asset for me as I take on this exciting new role.”

Edghill-Walden is coming from City Colleges of Chicago where she served as chief academic officer with an annual salary of $189,000.

“Her experience in higher education and working with diverse student bodies spans nearly three decades, first starting in 1988 at the University of Delaware as director of its Black Culture Center,” the Daily-Chronicle reports.

The Northern Star questioned Edghill-Walden about her hiring at a time most schools are looking to cut back, and she justified her new position as essential to “preparing students for a global society.”

“Why do you think the Chief Diversity Officer position is important to NIU especially (during) a hiring freeze and potential funding cut?” the site asked.


“Well, I also know that – having been to Springfield and hearing the House and the Senate express their concerns for the budget cuts in the state of Illinois and higher ed – I know that at the time there’s also been an interest to make sure that Northern meets the needs of all diverse students and faculty and staff so I think it’s important because even though we’re looking at minimal resources or reduced resources there’s still a need to make sure that the community that you’re involved in is inclusive and equitable and still has community engagement, and that’s important to students, faculty and staff.

“So yes, there’s budget cuts but there’s also definitely a need to make sure that we’re preparing students for a global society and so making sure that this role is a part of the community is why I would say it would be important,” she said.

Via: EAG News

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