David Petraeus to Work at CUNY’s Honors College for Just $1 (UPDATE)


After weeks of criticism surrounding his salary at the City University of New York's (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College, David Petraeus, the former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, would now be paid just $1 to teach a course for three hours a week, beginning August.

In April, when Petraeus was hired as a visiting professor of public policy at the college, the salary was undecided.

His salary was mired in controversies, after Gawker, a new York City based blog site, disclosed that CUNY has decided to pay the retired four-star Army general $200,000 annually to teach a course, now titled, 'Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?' each semester.

After receiving harsh reviews on the general's pay structure, university authorities cut down his annual salary from $200,000 to $150,000. Even then, the officials failed to convince the critics.

"It is obscene for a university that operates on a bare bones budget to pay anyone $150,000 for a single course per semester," said Barbara Bowen, president of the CUNY professor's labor union. "Every dollar raised at CUNY, whether from public or private sources, should go to providing broad access to a quality education."

Opponents felt that Petraeus' salary is significantly more in comparison to most full time adjunct professors who are paid only $25,000 annually. They were also unhappy over the funding of his high salary which was earlier reported to be paid by a private donor.

Apart from the course, the 60-year-old disgraced former CIA chief will be delivering two public lectures on global economic slowdown, starting August.

"The general never was taking on this teaching assignment for the money," said Robert Barnett, his lawyer. Once controversy arose about the amount he was being paid, he decided it was much more important to keep the focus on the students, on the school and on the teaching, and not have it be about the money. So Mr. Petraeus proposed waiving his salary "to remove money as a point of controversy."

Last November, the former director resigned after admitting to having an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, a fellow West Point graduate.

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