SPRINGFIELD — The office of Gov. Jay Nixon is paying Missouri State University $35,200 to cover one-third of former school president Mike Nietzel's compensation for teaching this semester.
The money will go to the Springfield university's psychology department, where Nietzel is teaching one class this semester.
Nixon asked Nietzel last April to be his top adviser on higher education and work force readiness, saying the position would be unpaid. Nixon's spokesman, Scott Holste, says the payment to the university is for Nietzel's work with the governor through June 30.
Holste says believes the practice is not uncommon in higher education, and that Missouri State proposed the idea.
But two Springfield-area lawmakers say the governor should put Nietzel on his staff and pay him directly.