Letter to the editor: Valdez conduct

To the editor:

District Attorney Suzanne Valdez has been placed on leave from her job as a KU clinical law professor. She is accused of improperly withholding her students’ final grades as leverage in a $7,500 pay dispute. Valdez’s explanation for withholding the grades is “This was a teaching moment … sometimes you have innocent parties who are caught up.” The students were not “caught up”; Valdez intentionally used them. Valdez’s misconduct is amplified by her inability to appreciate that she is grossly overpaid.

According to openpayroll.com Valdez made about $170,000 in 2019 as an untenured clinical law professor. (The Kansas governor and attorney general make around $100,000.) Her husband, U.S. Attorney Steve McCallister, was the law school dean.

Valdez, who has inadequate criminal law experience, campaigned on “social justice” issues. Not surprisingly, she claims that KU is retaliating against her because of her criticism of pay disparities and other equity issues. Does Valdez believe that her $170,000 KU salary makes her a victim of “systemic racism”?

Valdez’s use of students in a pay dispute is not the only way students are being used. The law school tuition in 1990 was $2,000; today it is $22,000!

Valdez should thank these students for her $170,000 salary.

Edward E. White,



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