Virginia Lawmaker Teaches at College, Serves on State Budget Panel - Higher Education
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Virginia Lawmaker Teaches at College, Serves on State Budget Panel

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by Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s senate majority leader, who is co-chair of the budget committee, is the highest paid adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary.

The Daily Press reported Friday that Republican Thomas K. Norment $60,000 a year for teaching two classes in the fall, and supervises internship programs and guides independent research in the spring. Brian Whitson, a spokesman for the college, said Norment also advises Taylor Reveley, the school’s president.

“Sen. Norment is a very valuable adviser to President Reveley as he is considering policy matters, planning and general issues facing higher education,” Whitson said in an email. But he did not provide concrete examples of Norment’s advice.

According to information The Daily Press obtained from William and Mary under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the average pay of adjuncts who make more than $10,000 a year is about $19,300.

Norment, a lawyer, did not comment to the newspaper about its report.

The William and Mary Law School’s adjunct faculty includes Virginia Supreme Court Justice D. Arthur Kelsey, former U.S. Magistrate Judge Tommy E. Miller and current U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney. Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Green teaches there, as do Hampton Circuit Court Judge Wilford Taylor and Newport News Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Samuels.

During the recently ended legislative session, state Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, publicly labeled Norment’s dual role a conflict of interest. Petersen was upset that legislation he’d proposed to limit the number of out-of-state students at Virginia universities, which the universities opposed, had been sent to one of Norment’s committees to die.

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Norment in response on the Senate floor, dubbed Petersen “a petulant child” for his complaints and noted that he got an opinion from then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell when he started at William and Mary in 2008.

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