Rutgers pays new 'Equity' VP $300,000, despite projected $200 million COVID losses

Rutgers University announced that it would be hiring a vice president of equity, who would be paid $300,000 per year.

Rutgers joins other public universities in paying its diversity czar nearly a third of a million dollars per year.

Earlier this year, Rutgers president Joe Barchi announced that the school would lose $200 million due to COVID-induced budget shortfalls.

Rutgers University announced it will hire its first-ever senior vice president for equity — a position that will earn $300,000 per year.

Enobong (Anna) Branch, who was hired for the position, will provide “strategic leadership to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of the university” as she oversees the school’s Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.

According to a report from NJ.comwhich Campus Reform was unable to independently confirm, Branch is slated to earn $300,000 per year in her new role.

In 2017, Campus Reform found that American universities paid diversity czars an average salary of $175,000. Branch’s $300,000 compensation package is comparable to her cohorts at the University of Virginia and the University of Texas-Austin, which, like Rutgers are also public universities.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Diversity chiefs drowning in dough]

In April, Rutgers President Robert Barchi told the school’s board of governors that it would lose $200 million as a result of COVID-19. Rutgers, therefore, joins a growing list of universities that have hired new diversity officials in the wake of George Floyd’s death, despite undergoing significant financial pressure as a result of COVID-19.

The University of Pennsylvania, for example, hired its first “vice president for social equity,” despite already paying its “chief diversity officer” at least $580,000 per year, according to the university’s IRS filings.

Months earlier, however, the university detailed potential furloughs and layoffs following budgetary strains brought about by COVID-19.

[RELATED: After hiring second diversity czar, Penn limits Ph.D. admissions amid financial woes]

Campus Reform reached out to Rutgers for comment and will update this article accordingly. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft