President Biden on Friday told a virtual summit of world leaders that he was a “professor” as of two years ago — touting a role that previously drew controversy because he was paid handsomely for nine reported visits to campus.
Biden earned nearly $1 million from the University of Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2019, despite appearing rarely at the Ivy League school.
Biden said in a livestreamed address to the Munich Security Conference, “Two year ago, as you pointed out, when I last spoke in Munich, I was a private citizen. I was a professor, not an elected official.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron were among the leaders who beamed into the speech, which followed a private morning discussion among G7 leaders.
Biden was an honorary professor at the Philadelphia school from February 2017 to April 2019.
He was paid $371,159 in 2017 and $540,484 in 2018 and 2019, according to an investigative report from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
According to a compilation of Biden appearances by the Daily Pennsylvanian, Biden visited campus at least nine times. One of the visits was a November 2017 event promoting his book “Promise Me, Dad.”
The other Biden visits included Q&As with UPenn administrators, one lecture to Wharton business school graduate students and public events with former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Former President Donald Trump is an alum of the university. Biden graduated in 1965 from the nearby University of Delaware. He received his law degree from Syracuse University.
At UPenn, Biden took on the position of “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor” in February 2017 just after leaving the vice presidency. He took leave from the role when he launched his presidential campaign.
In his brief period of not holding public office, Biden reaped a windfall speaking at colleges, according to financial disclosures. He took $190,000 to speak at Drew University in New Jersey, $182,000 from Lake Michigan College and $180,000 to appear at Vanderbilt University.
Biden this week roiled left-wing Democrats by flatly rejecting a push by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to forgive up to $50,000 in student loans per person.
On the campaign trail, Biden drew scrutiny for saying in South Carolina that instead of “taking a Wall Street job,” he “became a teacher, became a professor” — omitting mention of his compensation or the fact that he didn’t actually teach any semester-long courses.
Before he became vice president in 2009, Biden was an adjunct professor of law at Widener University in Pennsylvania for 17 years and taught classes while serving in the Senate.