Sally to Make Over $500K; Regents Clueless

Sally Clausen, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, is set to make over $500 thousand in total pay this fiscal year. However, her retire/rehire machinations of the past year may be examined by her bosses, the Board of Regents.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune has the story…

When Sally Clausen made the abrupt decision to retire as commissioner of higher education last August, she kept it quiet from the 16-member governing board that hired her a year earlier for the $425,000-a-year position.

And when Clausen was rehired to the same job after spending one weekday as an official state retiree, getting a substantial lump-sum payment in the process, the move again was made without consultation with members of the board appointed by the governor to coordinate policy for the state’s 19 public colleges, universities and professional schools.

Instead, the maneuver was revealed only to a small circle of Clausen’s subordinates, according to e-mails and other documents obtained by The Times-Picayune through a public records request.

Although Clausen plans to cut her pay in the next fiscal year, she is getting $515,625 this year, or $90,625 more than if she had not retired and come back to work. That’s because Clausen received a lump-sum payment in mid-August for 300 hours of unused vacation time and 200 hours of sick leave.

And then there is this:

While Clausen’s actions broke no laws or policies, they have raised questions about what role, if any, regents should play in such decisions. The issue could come up as early as today, when a six-member executive committee of the regents is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting in Baton Rouge to discuss the 30 percent budget reduction that Gov. Bobby Jindal has proposed for the board in his executive budget.

For now, according to Meg Casper, the board’s associate commissioner for public affairs, the Regents’ internal operating rules “are silent as to the process for rehiring a commissioner.”

Board of Regents Chairman Artis Terrell Jr. and Clausen declined requests to be interviewed.

Allow us to translate: “Those of us charged with supervising the higher education bureaucracy don’t have a clue as to what our employees are doing.”

Originally posted at Lincoln Parish News Online.

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