Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Educational Priorities

There are plenty of websites, blogs, and whole sections of newspapers devoted to sports, so I try to avoid that topic here. An exception is when school superintendents and college presidents come out of the locker room closet and reveal their true institutional priorities. That is what happened yesterday and is worth noting.

If you have ever made a contribution to the University of Arkansas and that donation was less than $3.5 million, you should be aware that your tax-deductible gift just went into Houston Nutt's pocket. Wally Hall says that was the size of the resigning bonus Nutt was given by UA Chancellor John White. Of all the possible uses of foundation funds to advance the educational mission of the University, White decided that giving millions as a going away present to a quitter was the best use and top priority for the money donated to help the University.

"We seen it coming," said Stanley Reed, chairman of the UA Board of Trustees. "We knew we were negotiating to the point of what was best for all parties concerned. I don't think it should be a surprise to anybody that's been around Arkansas the last month or two." It was somewhat of a surprise that White reportedly offered Nutt a two-year contract extension to 2014 and an annual salary of $2.4 million to stay then gave him $3.5 million in foundation money as a gift after Nutt rejected the offer. Who saw that coming?

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