U.S. Rep. Josiah “Jo” Bonner, R-Ala., will have a salary of $350,000 when he begins work with The University of Alabama System in the fall, Kellee Reinhart, vice chancellor of system relations, said.
Bonner will be taking on the position of vice chancellor of economic development and government relations starting Aug. 16. When Bonner announced May 23 that he would be stepping down from Congress to take a job with the UA system, his salary was still unknown at the time.
The position is a result of the retirement of previous government relations director Bill Jones and the resulting reorganization of the entire branch.
“When Bill Jones, the UA system’s director of government relations, announced his plans to retire after more than 30 years, we began looking at the scope of the responsibilities of that position,” Reinhart said. “We made the decision to formally recognize the UA system’s increased role in economic development and expand the position. The result is a new title and added responsibilities for a position that has been a part of our organizational structure for many years.”
Reinhart said there was an interview process for filling the position, though a list of considered candidates is not available.
Bonner is the brother of UA President Judy Bonner, though Reinhart said the siblings will be working in different parts of the UA body. Judy Bonner is an employee of The University of Alabama, and Jo Bonner will be an employee of The University of Alabama System. Reinhart said there are no policies preventing siblings from both working in the system.
Jo Bonner, too, said while he and his sister are very close, he will be working with the system at large and not the Tuscaloosa campus
“As such, I will be working with Dr. Witt on behalf of all three campuses,” he said. “Regarding how I intend to work with my sister, I would expect the same way I hope to work with Dr. Watts, and Dr. Altenkirch: proactively helping them accomplish their goals and agendas for the three campuses.”
UA system Chancellor Robert Witt said the system found Jo Bonner’s history with state government and economic development makes him the “ideal candidate” for this position.
“Jo Bonner’s career in government, the great respect he has earned in Washington [D.C.] and Montgomery, and his extensive track record in economic development made him the ideal candidate for vice chancellor for government relations and economic development,” Witt said. “We look forward to his arrival later this summer.”