Northern Illinois University’s new chief diversity officer will earn a salary of $185,000 a year, along with several thousand more in an allowance for taking on other roles at the school, records show.That kind of money comprises the annual salaries of two assistant professors in Economics or up to three professors in English at current market rates. Now perhaps coordinating the diversity activities is more important than making sure students have classes once they enroll. That appears to be the university's spin.
Vernese Edghill-Walden is set to arrive on the Northern Illinois University campus Monday for her first day of work at the school. Edghill-Walden recently accepted an initial one-year contract as NIU’s first chief diversity officer.
In 2014, a task force made up of NIU students, faculty and staff recommended establishing the diversity position. [University president Douglas] Baker said he heeded that suggestion.Perhaps not. But in the comments section the continued lack of pay increases for staff and faculty, and the continuing intrusion of administrivia into the work lives of faculty, including during summers that have long been difficult to protect for research, consulting, or perhaps re-charging, accompany the predictable gripes about boondoggling and ideological bias.
“We really needed someone waking up and going to sleep thinking about these issues, and really coordinating our activities,” Baker said. “We’ve had great diversity activities around the university, but they haven’t been as dovetailed as they could be.”