As a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I was often assigned to teach courses off campus.
Would the university reimburse me for my mileage when I traveled to teach a course? Sorta. I had to fill out paperwork for every off-campus trip.
And such paperwork! I had to file a triplicate form for every journey to teach away from campus. Every time I filled out the form, I had to verify that I had auto insurance, list my driver's license number, and certify that I had taken the university's stupid online driver safety course within the previous two years.
That form had to be signed by seven people!
Do you think the big muckety mucks at Louisiana's public universities fill out all that paperwork when they travel off campus?
Hell no. They have credit cards on university foundation accounts. Their expenses are not subject to state travel rules or to public scrutiny.
That's what we see from the recent public uproar about LSU Health Chancellor Larry Hollier's Foundation expense account.
Hollier used his Foundation credit card to fly first class with his wife, stay at expensive hotels, and eat at expensive restaurants.
Any problem with that? Apparently not. The LSU Foundation defends the expenditures, saying all the charges followed the Foundation's policies and procedures.
But that can't be right because all charges of more than $1,000 must be reported quarterly to the LSU Board of Supervisors or its designee. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Hollier made more than 20 charges of more than $1,000, and there are no quarterly reports.
This episode is just another example of the arrogance and lavish lifestyles of senior university administrators. They make a hell of a lot of money and then get special perks like foundation account credit cards, housing allowances, and other stuff that lowly professors don't get.
According to a recent Chronicle of Higher Education report, fifty presidents at public universities make more than $700,000 a year. Hollier, the LSU Health Chancellor, raked in $1.1 million.
For many of those presidents, some of their pay is not taxable: health insurance, for example, and deferred compensation.
And, as the Larry Hollier scandal illustrates, not all executive administrative expenses are subject to public scrutiny because they are paid for through foundation accounts.
LSU recently signed a 10-year, $95 million contract with its new football coach. And the new guy gets an interest-free loan of $1.2 million to buy a house, two cars, and 50 hours of private travel on LSU's airplanes.
Where do you suppose that football money comes from? Foundation accounts, most likely.
Americans need to wake up to the fact that our nation's public universities are not citadels of culture and learning. They are rackets run by people who play by different rules than the lowly students and professors.
And these racketeers have the gall to hike tuition prices every year--confident that the rubes will take out student loans to pay for these empires of corruption, greed, and arrogance.
As for Larry Hollier, he is back on the LSU Health Center faculty and only makes $750,000 a year. And you know what? I'll bet he and his wife still fly first class.
|Larry Hollier all duded up|