The seven-college Dallas County Community College District is one of the biggest post-secondary education institutions in the world. The legendary Bill J. Priest was present at the creation in 1965, serving as DCCCD's first president. His starting salary was $35,000, more than the governor of Texas. According to Bill Jason Priest: Community College Pioneer, a hagiography by Kathleen Krebbs Whitson, “an editorial appeared in one of the major daily newspapers in Dallas extolling the integrity of the Dallas County Junior College Board for being willing to spend the money to bring in the very best leadership for the new junior college system.”
That information piqued my curiosity, so I looked up the current salaries of the DCCCD chief executive (a “chancellor” now instead of a “president”) and the Texas governor. It turns out that Chancellor Wright Lassiter earns $271,126 and Governor Rick Perry gets $150,000 (I didn't feel right using “earns” again). Good for Texas! Educators are still out-pointing politicians.
Priest enjoyed twitting his former colleagues back in California about the support for education that he was finding in Texas. “You're working in the wrong place,” he told them. Of course, not everything about Texas was to Priest's liking, but he deftly took care of that with some judicious prevarication. His extremely generous biographer deftly soft-pedals the deception:
One might have expected a better definition of agnosticism from an educator, as well as less willingness to lie to his new neighbors, but Priest appears to have been undisturbed by it. I guess that's just what a person has to do to survive in Texas.