Virginia State Senator Tommy Norment J.D. ’73 (R-3rd) is on the College of William and Mary payroll and has sponsored bills to redirect millions to the College.
Since July 1, 2008, Norment has made $160,000 a year for teaching one class at the William and Mary Law School and one class in the undergraduate government department each semester. He also helped coordinate the College’s Richmond Internship program and served as a legal advisor to the College. An average William and Mary law professor teaches three law school courses each academic year and makes $169,000.
“While Senator Norment’s compensation from William and Mary reflects his teaching load, it is primarily a function of his work for us as a senior attorney and counselor for the university and the president,” College spokesman Brian Whitson said.
Norment sponsored several amendments to increase the College’s budget by nearly $20 million.
Norment is currently the Virginia Senate minority leader and senior member of the Finance Committee, which is responsible for the state’s budget, and thus shares control of the College’s spending measures with a few other senior committee members.
According to the Virginia Gazette, Norment discussed taking his teaching profession at the College with then attorney general and current Republican governor candidate Bob McDonnell who concluded that no conflict of interest existed.
“We are sensitive to the conflicts issue — both from a legal perspective and a public perception perspective — having Senator Norment working as a teacher and legal counselor,” Whitson said. “The state has rules and guidelines to govern this type of working relationship — it is not uncommon at other institutions.”