Former general and CIA director David Petraeus is teaching at City University of New York this semester for a salary of just $1. He will be teaching a single honors class on international relations. He was originally offered a number ending in five zeros, but that number has since been revised to a much smaller one.
The issue of high pay raised quite a bit of controversy, since regular professors do not earn nearly as much as the originally proposed salary. When Gawker publicized the amount Petraeus was to earn, many people protested that it was unfair. Despite his expertise in the subject area, people felt that such a large salary for teaching one class was unnecessary. In the end, both parties agreed on the one-digit salary.
David Petraeus, KKR’s new head of the Global Institute, even opted to donate some of the original amount of money to veterans’ organizations.
Petraeus’s lawyer told the New York Times, “Once controversy arose about the amount he was being paid, he decided it was much more important to keep the focus on the students, on the school and on the teaching, and not have it be about the money.”
Bringing expertise into the classroom is a valuable practice for any school, and General David Petraeus certainly has experience with international relations. His work as CIA head and as a 4-star general make him perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people in the country on the subject. Whether or not students personally agree with his past leadership, there can be no doubt that his experience lends itself to education very well. After all, don’t they say that experience is the best teacher?
Petraeus isn’t the only famous person teaching college classes these days. There are many other famous faces gracing college campuses around the country. Some notable people include former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright (also teaching International Affairs at Georgetown University), famous poet Maya Angelou (teaching American Studies at Wake Forest University), and David Brooks, New York Times columnist (teaching a course on humility at Yale University).