At a time when college students are seeing the steepest rise in tuition ever, where universities and colleges within the public university system of Georgia are being shrunk or merged under the guise of cutting costs, they somehow managed to pay Middle Georgia State President David Bell a whopping $347,300!
David Bell retired as president in 2011, but received a salary two and a half times larger than Governor Nathan Deal in 2014. I am not sure how much his salary will be for 2015 but I plan to find out. I also plan to see how many philosophy classes he is actually teaching to warrant such an exorbitant salary while colleges struggle to find funds to give pay raises or attract new engineering or math professors where there is actually a demand.
2015 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Georgia Board of Regents have approved a 2.5 percent rate hike for most colleges, with separate rates for the system’s four research institutions. Given the merger mania by Hank Huckaby to cut costs, you will forgive me when I get a little angry when I learn that a retired president was paid $347,300 last year for doing practically nothing while departments are being closed, professors that teach full loads aren’t paid a fraction of that, and campuses are being closed or merged which results in institutions not being able to serve the local students as well as they did before the mergers. But the elite educrats (ruling class) sure seem to be making out like bandits even long after they retire!
David Bell is far from alone. Another great example of an elite educrat getting rich off of Georgia taxpayers backs is Michael Adams. Former University of Georgia president Michael Adams also received a sweetheart retirement deal of over $2.7 million when he decided to retire as well. Interesting to note that many feel Adams was the instrumental reason Hank Huckaby was ultimately selected as Chancellor of the University System of Georgia who then signed off on that sweet golden (or should I say platinum) parachute deal not long after Adams had made sure Huckaby would become chancellor. Interesting timing don’t you think? 😉
We also reported when Ricardo Azziz resigned as president of Georgia Regents University. The Augusta Chronicle reported he would get a year of paid leave plus a one time payment of $470,000 with a total package worth over $1.1 million. You can see the details of his severance here: Transition Plan for Dr. Ricardo Azziz (.pdf)
David Bell retired as president not long after allegations that he fired his 15-year personal assistant Denise Caldon. She maintains she could no longer ethically continue to falsify medical leave reports for Bell.
Here is an account of what happened directly from Denise Caldon.
My name is E. Denise Caldon Sorkness. During my late husband’s illness from exposure to Agent Orange, and just prior to his death, I left my position in the Office of the Chancellor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and relocated back to Macon, my hometown, with our three young children.
I began my position as the Administrative Assistant to the college president at Middle Georgia State College (formerly Macon State) in October 1993 where I served for fifteen years. During the last three years, I was asked to cross ethical, fiscal and, what many believe, criminal lines by former President David A. Bell, Vice President Levy Youmans, et al.
One of the requests was the falsifying of official Leave Reports for the President, who was under psychiatric care and had serious mental health issues – confirmed in Depositions kept sealed still today by Attorney General Sam Olens.
Calls for reforming salaries of overpaid elite vampire educrats coalescing across the state and the nation
Higher Education Reform Advocates from across the State are currently “educating” USG Faculty Council Members, politicians, media, Student Advisory Council Representatives, et al about reforming a very broken university system in Georgia that allows these Vampire educrat elites like David Bell, Michael Adams, and Ricardo Azziz, to be paid far more than even the Governor or CEO’s of large corporations even after they retire and sit on their asses and do nothing and the media rarely saying a word about it.
We have to encourage our elected officials to introduce a Bill to amend the Georgia Constitution which has allowed this malfeasance by the BOR of the USG for many years – malfeasance that negatively impacts Georgia families statewide.
Below is a letter written by a former University of North Georgia English lecturer now living in Raleigh, NC. recently advocating for reforms and a new bill to address ethical accountability.
Dear Georgia Tech Student Government Executives,
I write with an urgent message and a request for your assistance and leadership.
The time is now for Georgia’s General Assembly to introduce a Bill amending the state’s Constitution, which returns fiscal, criminal, and ethical accountability to our state’s higher education system, including the Board of Regents (BOR). You can help because you, as students, deserve this accountability and, more importantly, have the power to bring about lasting, positive change.
Here are some facts to consider:
- None of the BOR members has any professional experience in higher education administration. Yet, the Georgia Constitution allows the BOR “exclusive authority” over the handling of the state’s $7.7 billion dollar education budget. Moreover, their exclusive authority has led to misuses and misrepresentations of monies appropriated annually to the USG.
- There is both data-driven and anecdotal evidence of the BOR’s often-hidden practice of filling the pockets of former and current USG presidents and administrators—some even after they retire— and typically at the expense of USG students, staff, and faculty. Though widely admired on campus, Georgia Tech’s President, George “Bud” Peterson’s total compensation for the 2016 fiscal year will be $1,093,646, up 40% from his $661,480 base salary for fiscal year 2015.
- The BOR approved that.
- In April 2015, Georgia Tech’s tuition increased 9%.
- The BOR approved that, too.
- Since 2005, Georgia Tech’s undergraduate tuition rate has increased 65%. And upon whose shoulders does this burden fall—yours and those of the students you represent.For a moment, consider your own leadership roles and responsibilities. As student government executives, your decisions are never unilateral, ungoverned, or unchecked, but the BOR’s decisions are unregulated and, for all intents and purposes, inscrutable.You can help bring an end to this type of top-down decision-making directly affecting you, the students you represent, and future USG students.Support the grassroots movement to introduce a Bill amending the state’s Constitution, returning fiscal, criminal, and ethical accountability to our state’s higher education system, including the Board of Regents (BOR).Contact the students you serve, the same students who elected you to positions of public service.
On a personal note, I thank you for your service on behalf of your esteemed institution. I know how hard you all work. That’s not flattery: my husband graduated from Tech in December 2014 with his Biomedical Engineering degree.
There is plenty of publicly available information that records all of the troubles within the BOR. If you’d like more detailed information, please contact me directly.
There is power in numbers, ladies and gentlemen, and your voices are crucial as USG students and USG leaders. It is your voices, too, that need to be heard by Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia’s General Assembly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email me.
Higher Education Reform Advocate & Consumer Consultant
Former Lecturer, English Department, University of North Georgia – Gainesville Campus
■ CBS Atlanta News Report #1:
A CBS Atlanta investigation exposes allegations that the powerful Board of Regents has mishandled appeals filed by terminated employees By Jeff Chirico
■ CBS Atlanta News Report #3:
Former employee: Board of Regents hiding records that show mismanagement
By Jeff Chirico Posted: Nov 14, 2013 5:15 PM EST Updated: Nov 14, 2013 5:53 PM EST
■ Global Watchdog – Report #2
Excerpts and full Deposition of Regent Doreen Stiles Poitevint in Whistleblower Suit
By Alan Wood Posted on October 29, 2014 via Corruption in Georgia (CIG) website
■ Atlanta Unfiltered
University execs’ deferred pay, often hidden, tops $7 million
By Jim Walls, October 5, 2009
■ The Center for Public Integrity
Accountability: State Integrity Investigation – Georgia: Worst score in the country
By Jim Walls, 12:01 am, March 19, 2012 Updated: 3:36 pm, April 5, 2012
Thank you, Alan, for another incredible investigative report on the truth within our state’s higher education system – here in Bibb County and statewide – truth our local news media and Telegraph will not address. It is the bank accounts of hard-working Georgians and USG faculty, staff and students the Board of Regents are depleting which has allowed USG presidents and administrators to laugh all the way to their banks for years….and their second home in Saint Simons, like retired former President David Bell does with his $347,300 salary from 2014!
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” – Martin Luther King Jr.