Gossip and lies: Bonuses to DiPietro are predictable act of inept trustees

Sandra ClarkFeature, Gossip and Lies

Endorsements last week for Republican gubernatorial candidates: Diane Black (NRA), Randy Boyd (Mike Huckabee), Bill Lee (Mae Beavers), and Beth Harwell (no one of note). Anyone handicapping the race should reflect on these endorsements (and this order of finish).

Local columnists at the News Sentinel have been cut, according to Mark Harmon, writing on knoxviews.com. Frank Cagle, Ina Hughs, Greg Johnson and Harmon have been whacked. It’s about economics. When “citizens” write columns, they pay a PR firm to ghost the column and the paper gets it for free. When journalists write columns, the paper pays them. Expect to see a lot more “citizen” columns at KNS.

Dr. Joe DiPietro got a $168,000 bonus and an attaboy from the outgoing UT board of trustees. As reported in the News Sentinel, “DiPietro, whose contract runs through next June and whose base salary is $539,011.08, collected a $100,821 bonus for the 2016-17 year along with a separate bonus of $67,376 for the 2017-18 year – both of which will be paid to him in installments.”

Hmmm. DiPietro is leaving UT. His wife already has posted that on social media. He’s raised a lot of money for sure, but arguably will leave the university in shambles – a brand new board of trustees; searches underway for a president, a Knoxville chancellor and a vice chancellor for communications to name just three. He hired Beverly Davenport, fired her after a year for a list of reasons and then agreed to a financial settlement. Tennessee settled a sexual assault lawsuit involving athletes for $2.48 million. And there were multi-million buyouts for fired coaches and athletic directors. Good grief!

There is a reason the legislature refused Gov. Haslam’s appointments of existing trustees to the newly constituted board. Bonuses to DiPietro show why.

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