University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides is adding new administrative positions at the same time he is complaining to lawmakers that the school is facing a funding crisis, sources tell FITS.
Some of these positions are said to pay out over $300,000 a year to the bureaucrats lucky enough to land them.
Details of Pastides’ reported staffing moves were obtained by FITS as we investigated the hiring of a left-wing opinion writer by the school – for $6,000 a month.
Specifically, Pastides has created the postion of “Special Assistant to the President,” which is currently manned by Cantey Heath.
Sources say Heath is the University employee who first advocated the controversial hiring of Brad Warthen, former editorial page editor at La Socialista (a.k.a. The State newspaper).
Pastides has also created the positions of VP of Planning and VP of Research and Graduate Education – which will be staffed with external hires at the same time the school is searching for a new VP of advancement and a new Provost.
The total cost of these four administrative positions? An estimated $1.3 million annually.
Frankly, it’s amazing that USC can afford to make such costly administrative hires given the position it is currently putting its faculty in and the sacrifices it is having to make with regard to student scholarships.
Yet in spite of that disconnect, the top two candidates for the VP of administration position are interviewing publicly next week, while public interviews for the VP of research and graduate education will take place next month.
The search for a new provost is currently underway, with interviews scheduled to begin in the fall.
Pastides’ new VP of Planning was hired last August – and currently makes $254,000 a year. No recent salary information for his new “Special Assistant” was available, although Heath made $134,000 a year in his previous position in the University Advancement office.
University advancement, you’ll recall, was the office that used taxpayer resources to attack Gov. Mark Sanford and recruit protesters to a pro-government rally earlier this month.
Meanwhile, USC’s interim VP’s of research and advancement make $202,000 and $166,000 a year, respectively.
Each of these hires is at the sole discretion of Pastides, who along with Clemson president James Barker has been dealing with scorching criticism for his financial management during this “budget crisis.”
Based on state salary information, 224 USC employees making $50,000 received raises of 10% or more last year.
Also, some of these exorbitant state salary totals are supplemented by USC education foundation dollars, although sources tell FITS that this fund has dropped from $250 million to $180 million as the economy has cooled and contracted endowment giving.