President Biden claimed Friday that three universities reached out to gauge his interest in their top jobs after he left office as vice president in 2017, but that his wife Jill strongly objected.
Biden told the story at Delaware State University while speaking about his cancellation of about $400 billion in student debt — saying it was a “true story.”
“True story: When I left the vice presidency, after Beau died, I wasn’t going to get involved in politics anymore. So I became a full professor at the University of Pennsylvania,” he said.
“But before that occurred, three universities came to me and said they wanted to interview me to consider my being a president of the university.”
“My wife, who’s a professor at a community college, she has two master’s [degrees] and a Ph.D. because she’s smarter than me. And she looked at me, she said, ‘If you do that, I’m leaving you’,” Biden continued.
“She said it’s one of the toughest jobs in America, especially if you start arguing about parking spaces and office windows.”
It’s unclear which universities may have sought to make Biden their president. The White House did not immediately provide additional information.
Biden’s claim, meanwhile, that he was a “full professor” at the University of Pennsylvania has been ridiculed due to his distinct lack of activity.
Biden earned nearly $1 million as an honorary professor at the Philadelphia Ivy League school from February 2017 to April 2019, despite appearing rarely on campus. The cushy gig was part of a $15.6 million financial windfall reported by the Bidens in 2017 and 2018.
The University of Pennsylvania paid Biden $371,159 in 2017 and $540,484 in 2018 and 2019, according to an investigative report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
According to a compilation of Biden appearances by the Daily Pennsylvanian, the future president visited campus at least nine times. One of the visits was a November 2017 event promoting his book “Promise Me, Dad.”
That book doesn’t describe any colleges attempting to hire Biden as their president, though it does describe the University of Delaware, his undergraduate alma mater, asking him to set up a public policy center during his second term as vice president.
Some universities do seek to hire former elected officials to be their leader, even if they lack an obvious connection to the institution. The University of Florida, for example, is considering hiring sitting Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) to lead the school, prompting campus protests against the conservative politician.