Chalkboard: UF officials report Sen. Mike Haridopolos won't teach summer classes

Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 31, 2008 at 11:12 p.m.

Sen. Mike Haridopolos hasn't heeded calls to give up his $75,000 post at the University of Florida, but he will forgo teaching summer classes, according to UF officials.

Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, could have made approximately $25,000 more teaching over the summer, but he has decided not to do so. The decision to forgo summer teaching was "his decision," according to Janine Sikes, UF spokeswoman.

Haridopolos has come under fire for taking a teaching post as a lecturer at UF, where he will make more money than other similarly qualified individuals. Faced with similar criticism for taking a job she helped create at Florida State University, Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, has agreed to work for FSU without pay.

According to UF officials, Haridopolos is being paid through discretionary funds that are allotted to UF President Bernie Machen by the UF Foundation, the university's fundraising arm.

Back in the classroom: Teachers who complain that administrators have lost touch with what goes on in classrooms may want to keep an eye on summer school in Levy County. The district plans to assign administrators to teach most summer school classes this year.

The plan is expected to save the district up to $20,000 by having salaried employees perform jobs that otherwise would have gone to teachers paid a supplement to work over the summer break.

Superintendent Cliff Norris said it's the second time the district has relied on salaried employees to teach summer school. "We also did this during the budget cuts after the 2001 terrorist attacks," he said.

Albright's 'dumbest thing': "It's always a pleasure to Google myself and see that I am a war criminal," said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking before a University of Florida audience last week.

During audience questioning, Albright was asked about a 1996 "60 Minutes" interview in which she was asked whether imposing sanctions against Iraq was worth the lives of some half-million children who were said to have died as a result.

"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it," Albright told the news program.

In her Wednesday appearance at UF, Albright said that she mistakenly agreed with Lesley Stahl, the interviewer, under questioning.

"It was the dumbest thing I've ever done," Albright said, adding "obviously the lives of children are not worth it."

Albright, who was secretary of state from 1997 to 2001, spoke at UF's Levin College of Law and Graham Center for Public Service on Wednesday.

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