Former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett is set to give the commencement speech at Northeastern Illinois University, a school which is financially strapped.
The struggling school was somehow going to pay her a $30,000 speaking fee. Then a donor stepped forward and offered to pay it. At this point, Jarrett finally decided to waive her fee which she probably should have done in the first place.
The Chicago SUn Times reports:
Valerie Jarrett won’t charge NEIU for graduation speech
Valerie Jarrett won’t collect a speaking fee for giving a commencement speech next month at cash-strapped Northeastern Illinois University, her spokeswoman announced Tuesday.
The announcement came a day after the university said it had found a donor to step in and cover the $30,000 fee that the school originally planned to pick up.
The school faced criticism for agreeing to pay the former presidential adviser at a time when faculty and staff are being forced to take unpaid days off — and classes have been canceled for students for three days — as a way to offset a budget crisis caused by state cuts to higher education.
University spokesman Michael Hines said Tuesday that he does not expect the anonymous donor to follow through with the donation now that Jarrett has offered to give the May 8 commencement speech for free.
Why on Earth was the school going to pay her $30,000 for a commencement speech?