Leslie paid more than Obama

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

For 10 years, Dr. Bruce Leslie has served as chancellor of the Alamo Colleges.

In that time his leadership has improved some areas, such as increased graduation rates, but also included some questionable judgment calls, such as being caught on his phone during commencement at this college and Palo Alto College.

No matter how good a job trustees believe he does, he is not worth more than the president of the United States in the base salary that was approved at the Aug. 16 board meeting.

Leslie’s base salary is $403,123, and includes an additional monthly $1,500 automobile allowance and a $166 cell phone allowance.

President Barack Obama’s base salary is $400,000.

Every trustee but District 8 representative Clint Kingsbery and District 3 representative Anna Bustamante voted in favor of the raise.

Leslie keeps watch on progress at the Dallas County Community College District as an incentive to this district, but this raise puts Leslie out in front of Dallas’ chancellor by more than $100,000.

The board has always stressed paying competitively to the market for every position outside contract work, which is taken on a case-by-case basis. In fact, the most recent raise for faculty and staff was based on a scale where each person fell in the competitive workforce market for their position.

How is it fair to hold the employees to a different standard than the chancellor?

But the most egregious thing about Leslie’s new contract is how it was approved.

After issuing a verbal reprimand for his commencement behavior, District 7 trustee Yvonne Katz, who serves as board chair, called for a vote for a contract in the vaguest of terms and without discussion in open session.

That is unacceptable behavior from board members, the elected officials who lead a college district. Where’s the transparency trustees and the chancellor are always trumpeting?

They ought to try modeling that behavior for students.

No student would ever be allowed a performance like that in a classroom — at least not if a passing grade was expected.

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