Lalor Questions CUNY Paying Petraeus $200,000 to Teach One Summer Seminar

Fishkill, NY – (7/1/13) – Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – Fishkill) released a statement Monday criticizing the City University of New York (CUNY) for agreeing to pay former CIA director David Petraeus $200,000 to teach a single three-credit summer seminar.

“Taxpayers fund CUNY to provide an affordable education for New Yorkers,” said Lalor. “We expect CUNY to carefully guard our tax dollars. Paying $200,000 for three hours a week of work to a former CIA director, who was forced to resign when his personal failings compromised national security, isn’t the right way to spend tax dollars. CUNY has been hiking tuition by $300 a year since 2011 and two more $300 increases are planned. Albany increased taxes this year; money that helps fund the schools. Students and taxpayers are both subsidizing this cushy new job for Petraeus.”

CUNY has hired Petraeus as a visiting professor at the Macaulay Honors College. He will be teaching one three-credit summer seminar class and giving two speeches open to the entire university. His salary for the single summer class is $200,000. CUNY is attempting to fund Petraeus’ salary through independent donations. The school declined to answer whether the funds had been raised and it appears taxpayers are on the hook for the full $200,000.

Lalor continued, “CUNY promised Petraeus $200,000 before they had the private funding. The class is going to start soon and it looks like taxpayers are going to foot the entire bill. But, even if taxpayers fund just a portion of it, it’s not the right way to spend tax dollars.”

Lalor concluded, “Petraeus resigned after his indiscretions compromised national security. He doesn’t deserve a soft landing, paid for by New York taxpayers. CUNY should focus on delivering an affordable, quality education. Paying $200,000 to David Petraeus to teach a three-credit seminar for one summer contributes little to an affordable, quality education. Taxpayers and students both deserve better.”