Extraordinary hubris

Deep within this article about the grotesque piggishness of former Smithsonian chief executive, Lawrence M. Small ( and please read both articles about Small who should be pelted with pig shit every time he leaves his front door), is this amazing statement by his deputy Sheila P Burke:

The report also focused on compensation paid to Mr. Small’s deputy, Sheila P. Burke, who resigned on Monday, effective Sept. 30. From 2000 to 2006 Ms. Burke was absent from her Smithsonian post for about 400 business days* — roughly one-quarter of the work days — because of her service on boards and other non-Smithsonian activities, the report said. For serving on these corporate boards Ms. Burke earned about $10 million in outside income.

In a telephone interview yesterday Ms. Burke said the report’s observations on her missed days were a “mischaracterization.”

“The institution has always been my first professional priority and will remain so while I’m here,” she said. “There is no suggestion in the report or by anyone else that at the end of the day I didn’t do my job. There is every indication that I am in fact an extraordinary individual with a very strong work ethic.”

Well then, now that you put it that way….

From the Washington Post:

Small, while taking substantial time off, earned his full salary — $915,568 his last year on the job — because he was permitted unlimited leave. Burke, who also had no restrictions on leave, earned $400,000 in her last year on the job. The terms of Burke’s employment were known in most instances only to Small and Burke. Information about Burke’s outside employment and activities on more than a dozen nonprofit boards and commissions was not shared with the Board of Regents, the report found.

Small resigned in March and Burke announced her resignation on Monday on the eve of the independent review report.

For those keeping score at home, that $400,000 a year that Burke was paid for showing up for work, let’s call it 3 days a week, comes out to $33,333 per month…. not including her outside board income. It looks to me like Shaha Ali Riza hitched her wagon to the wrong sugar daddy.

*An update to the WaPo story points that actually it was Small who missed 400 days while Burke missed 550 days.


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