Friday, November 20, 2015

Weirder and Weirder

The UGA whistleblower story gets weirder and weirder, including this most recent addition reported in today's Athens Banner-Herald.

Synopsis: accountant blows whistle on the UGA alumni relations director for all her "travel" which allegedly is charged to the university but is really for her personal use (and gets fired for it). You can read the story linked above for details. Quite a story.

So why do I bring this up here?

Because, my dear, there's data. And best I can tell, few if any news outlets have reported how much travel she actually did.

I dipped into the 2014 salary reports, which I have in Excel format for all UGA employees, to see where Deborah Dietzler, the former alumni person, stands in terms of travel dollars.

Her rank? She's 39th among all employees listed in the database, all 24,524 of them. Keep in mind that last number is inflated as it includes anyone who worked for UGA during that fiscal year, including student workers (work study, TAs, RAs, staff, faculty, admins, etc.). So there are a lot of $0 in this database. A whole lot.

But Dietzler, on top of her listed $123,900.96 salary, received $20,327.98 in travel monies. Sheesh.

I get about a thousand bucks a year for travel.

Who got the most UGA travel money that year? Here are the Top Five:
  1. Scott Jackson, a professor ($48,990)
  2. Caitlin Payne, a research assistant ($40,161)
  3. Michael Geller, professor ($37,416)
  4. William Eiland, a department head ($36,335)
  5. Fei Zhang, public service professional ($36,097).
A lot of the travel monies above are soft money from research or service grants and the like, so let's not get into an apples and oranges thing here compared to my measly travel budget. In other words, I can be bitter, but let's move on.

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