David Petraeus To Make $200,000 For Teaching One Class

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David Petraeus will be paid $200,000 to work three hours a week.When you're forced to leave a job because of a sex scandal, you might not expect to bounce back with a new one that pays $200,000 annually for three hours of work per week. But that plum setup has been offered to retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned last year as director of the CIA after it was revealed that he was carrying on an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The gossip website Gawker reports that Petraeus will be paid the six-figure salary for a position that he accepted in April with the City University of New York to teach a seminar on the country's future challenges. (Gawker says that it received the information about the CUNY offer after submitting a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The information was contained in nine pages of email between Petraeus and officials at the school.)

The New York-based website made this comparison in describing the public university's hiring of the former four-star general:

A first-time adjunct professor teaching a full course load at the City University of New York can expect to pull in around $25,000 per year. If you recently resigned as C.I.A. director over a long-time affair with your biographer, however, you can expect to be paid eight times as much for a fraction of the work.


Writing on twitter, other journalists expressed dismay over the salary. New York Times political reporter Nick Confessore, for one, even asked in a tweet, "shouldn't Petraeus be paying CUNY for its help in advancing his post-scandal rehabilitation?"

For Petraeus, the gig marks an exclamation point in his bid to come back from the scandal that broke in November. After the FBI was asked to investigate a series of "jealous" emails sent by Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell to another woman, it became known that Petraeus and Broadwell had long been carrying on an affair. The former Army commander handed his resignation to the president in the same week that Obama won re-election. (The seminar is at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College and will cover "developments that could position the United States ... to lead the world out of the current global economic slowdown.")

But perhaps CUNY's offer to him should come as little surprise. Petraeus is uniquely qualified to provide insight on geopolitics, given his experience leading U.S. armed forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And he's famously proved his academic chops, having received a Ph.D from Princeton in 1987 for a well-received dissertation about the "Lessons of Vietnam."

The CUNY post is not the first sweet deal that Petraeus has secured since re-entering the private sector. He's also been:
  • Working at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
  • Teaching part-time on similar subjects at the University of Southern California.
  • Chairing a new institute tasked with making economic predictions at the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

As AOL Jobs has reported, there are many ways to stage a comeback after a career falls apart. And high-profile figures such as Henry Blodget and Eliot Spitzer have opted to double down by showing the kind of gumption and grit in the face of scandal that got them to the top in the first place. And Petraeus's self-confidence appears to be intact even after his public downfall.

"The truth is that I could have had gotten more money or more prestigious places (you won't believe what USC will pay per week)," he wrote in an email to CUNY dean Ann Kirschner about his new job.

Update: On Monday July 15, both CUNY and Petraeus's lawyer Robert Bennett confirmed that Petraeus agreed to a pay cut, and will only be receiving $1 for the seminar.


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