Richard Herman doesn't have to do much teaching as part of his $212,000 faculty job at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.You'd think that there'd be some interest in "Issuing Favors to Legislators and Calling it Access" or "Giving Lip Service to Inclusion While Serving Political Masters", but apparently not, nor for the expertise of some of the other fallen leaders.
When he resigned as chancellor after a high-profile admissions scandal, he made a deal to teach just two classes a year in the College of Education, where a professor typically teaches four.
But Herman's class this semester was canceled for low enrollment — the second time that has happened since 2011. His biography on the College of Education's faculty website is blank. Herman, who lives in Chicago, said through a university spokesman that he goes to campus about once a week.
While Herman still plans to meet the teaching requirement in his contract this year, the situation raises the question of whether the cash-strapped university is getting its money's worth. Herman is one of several top U. of I. officials who resigned under pressure in recent years and subsequently moved into high-paying faculty positions.
In addition to Herman, other top officials who have moved into faculty roles include former U. of I. President Michael Hogan, who resigned last year after months of controversy with the faculty. He is now on a paid sabbatical, but in keeping with his contract to teach two courses a year, he plans to teach two history courses this fall on the Springfield campus. His salary will be $285,100.What's revealing, though, is a paragraph of elaboration on the chancellor's difficulties filling his classes in the College of Education.
His predecessor, President B. Joseph White, is assigned to the Urbana-Champaign campus' College of Business, where he receives about $288,000 a year and has been keeping a regular teaching load, including two classes during some semesters.
But Herman, 71, has had a more difficult time fulfilling his teaching obligations, and has twice switched to teaching online classes to make up for on-campus courses that were canceled for low enrollment. He did not respond to requests for comment from the Tribune, instead relaying his answers through university spokesman Thomas Hardy.
In response to a question about whether he thought Herman was meeting his responsibilities, U. of I. President Robert Easter replied: "I look forward to an increasing portfolio of activities in the future."
Herman, chancellor of the state's flagship university from 2005 to 2009, resigned in October 2009 after a Tribune series revealed that the campus had a shadow admissions system that allowed well-connected applicants to get into the public university over more qualified students.
"I don't think you should expect him to teach a freshman calculus section with a ton of students, but on the other hand, you don't want to give him an easy out when he is supposed to live up to the agreement," said U. of I. emeritus aerospace engineering professor John Prussing, who has served in various faculty leadership positions.The concluding paragraphs of the story suggest he already has been given an easy out.
Herman's current teaching arrangement goes until 2014, at which point campus officials will decide whether he should continue teaching in the College of Education and how many courses he should teach.I'm not sure how mathematics departments operate. In economics, the understanding is that any microeconomist is capable of offering price theory, and any macroeconomist, income theory. Assigning a former chancellor a section of calculus, when one of the usual professors is on sabbatical or managing a grant, strikes me as feasible, and there are probably lots of sections of
A mathematician by training, Herman has indefinite tenure as a mathematics professor at the Urbana-Champaign campus.
RUNNING EXTRA. University Diaries.
Don’t try this at home. For all of these elements to come together, for all of this sausage-making to make a sausage, you need high-level strategic skills plus extremely high-level connections.Or being saved by one of His Majesty's favorite cushions?
Also, it probably doesn’t hurt to have inside information which, if released, could ruin the careers of the high-level connections.