Sickness in higher education

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The higher education industry, one of the biggest businesses in America, is in the process of destroying its credibility with the public, which lavishly subsidizes it with gifts and taxpayer monies, and which has ponied up tuition rising at a pace twice that of inflation for generations, now. The spectacle of political correctness run amok is only the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of billions of dollars flow through universities and colleges, and some of it is spent very foolishly. Some even criminally, perhaps. There will be a reckoning, and the trustees of American University may help it come sooner.

The trustees of AU are considering buying off its president with a settlement of between 3 and 4 million dollars, to make him go away quietly rather than go through the hassle of firing him for cause and enduring subsequent litigation. The president has spent large sums of university money on himself in ways that are not felt to be in accord with his contract or his tax paying responsibilities. Some students at AU are outraged, as well they should be. So should be the parents who sacrifice to pay the high tuition bills at this private university.

If there has been misconduct, the trustees should not fear a lawsuit. It is their duty, in fact, to see that misbehavior is not rewarded, as the settlement clearly would do, assuming the allegations are sound.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an organization of which I am proud member, seeks to inform college trustees of their moral fiduciary responsibilities. Too many university trustees see themselves as fundraisers, and abdicate issues of oversight of faculty and business to those they should be supervising.

The trustees of AU are now on the spot. if they fail in their duties, they deserve all the scorn an ridicule which will flow their way.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   10 22 05

The higher education industry, one of the biggest businesses in America, is in the process of destroying its credibility with the public, which lavishly subsidizes it with gifts and taxpayer monies, and which has ponied up tuition rising at a pace twice that of inflation for generations, now. The spectacle of political correctness run amok is only the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of billions of dollars flow through universities and colleges, and some of it is spent very foolishly. Some even criminally, perhaps. There will be a reckoning, and the trustees of American University may help it come sooner.

The trustees of AU are considering buying off its president with a settlement of between 3 and 4 million dollars, to make him go away quietly rather than go through the hassle of firing him for cause and enduring subsequent litigation. The president has spent large sums of university money on himself in ways that are not felt to be in accord with his contract or his tax paying responsibilities. Some students at AU are outraged, as well they should be. So should be the parents who sacrifice to pay the high tuition bills at this private university.

If there has been misconduct, the trustees should not fear a lawsuit. It is their duty, in fact, to see that misbehavior is not rewarded, as the settlement clearly would do, assuming the allegations are sound.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an organization of which I am proud member, seeks to inform college trustees of their moral fiduciary responsibilities. Too many university trustees see themselves as fundraisers, and abdicate issues of oversight of faculty and business to those they should be supervising.

The trustees of AU are now on the spot. if they fail in their duties, they deserve all the scorn an ridicule which will flow their way.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson   10 22 05