His name is Gene Nichol, as in “not worth a plug…,” and when he’s not bellyaching over the Republicans’ mistreatment of the nation’s poor, he’s living high off the hog. According to the College Fix, Nichol’s annual salary as a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law is $212,900. That includes $205,400 for teaching one (count ‘em, 1!) class per semester and a $7,500 stipend as director of the law school’s — get a load of this — Center on Poverty, Work, & Opportunity.
Nichol told The College Fix there is nothing unusual about his situation:
I’m a full time faculty member — doing all the varied things faculty members do. That’s the basis for the salary you quote… Several make a good deal more than I do at Carolina….
But does that make it right? Before you answer, consider that Nichol also owns $1.5 million in real estate, which include his Chapel Hill home valued at over $1 million. Consider also that his wife, who is chief of staff of the UNC Health Care System and the UNC School of Medicine, earns $407,000 annually, bringing the couple’s combined income to $612,000 per year.
The UNC poverty center of which Nichol is director is itself a testament to the cynical adage “Do as I say, not as I do.” The center was founded by the now-disgraced Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, who boasts a net worth of $55.5 million.
While Nichol laments the plight of the poor – even chastising Republicans in a March News & Observer op-ed for its “unforgivable war on poor people” – the question of how well he can relate to those living in poverty arises.
When asked by The College Fix about the large inequality between his income and the income of those in poverty, Nichol refused to respond.
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