So the President of Rutgers invited Condi Rice to give the Commencement Speech this May. And she'll also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and a cool $35,000 for her hour's work.
The Faculty Council passed a resolution saying "Uh-uh, we don't THINK so!" based on her role in the lead up to the Iraq war and saying that her role in the Bush Administration and support of waterboarding should prevent her from being awarded even an honorary law degree. Others are saying the faculty are just being a bunch of leftist crybabies and should shut up and stop embarrassing the state.
Here's my take ... as a member of my university's Faculty Senate, I would have protested that invite. But not on any political reasons. $35,000????? Are you fucking KIDDING me??? Do you know how much assistant professors start at? Or instructors? SERIOUSLY? According to the AAUP, instructors in the Rutgers system *average* about $50,000 a year. AVERAGE. Assistant professors in their system average anywhere from $77,000 to 100,000 (although, I'd love to meet an assistant making that - I'm an associate and I'm nowhere near that). So for making one speech, she's going to pull down an honorary degree and as much money as some of those faculty members sitting there make for working half a year or two-thirds of the year. That's why I would have protested it (well, primarily).
Speak for the damned honor of speaking. Don't come to a university to speak at commencement and expect to walk away with a windfall. There's no shortage of great speakers out there and universities shouldn't be paying ANYONE to speak at commencement. Let's face it, the kids aren't really listening anyway. And I paid extra for the gown with pockets so I can play Candy Crush on my phone. Unless the President comes to speak. I'll put up my phone for that.