Showing posts with label Larry Hollier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Larry Hollier. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2022

University Foundation Accounts Are Basically Slush Funds for University Big Wigs

 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

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

LSU Health Chancellor Makes $1.1 million year and Flies First Class: Who Says Higher Education Doesn't Pay Offf?

 If you live outside the bunkers of academe, you may have a rosy view of our nation's colleges and universities. 

Perhaps you envision leafy campuses, stately ivy-covered buildings, and kindly professors wearing tweed jackets with quaint elbow patches--professors who give scintillating lectures to enraptured students and then return to their offices to spend long hours writing scholarly tomes that will make the world a better place.

If that is your image of academia in the United States, you haven't been paying attention. Higher education has become a racket primarily financed by federal and private student loans--loans taken out by millions of students who aren't getting much for their money.

At the top echelon of the slothful, corrupt, and irrelevant cesspool that calls itself higher education, some people are getting rich. For example, let's examine Larry Hollier, who until recently was Chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Before stepping down from the chancellor's job, Dr. Hollier made $1.1 million a year. Not bad!

And get this. Hollier also had a fat expense account provided by the LSU Health Foundation, a non-profit entity not subject to state spending rules. According to the Times-Picayune, which reviewed 600 pages of Hollier's reimbursement requests, the Foundation reimbursed the chancellor for $128,000 in expenses over three years.

What did Hollier charge to his expense account? Such things as limousine services and first-class plane tickets when he traveled out of state, expensive hotel rooms, and meals at high-class restaurants.

For example, Hollier attended a one-day conference in New York City, but he and his wife flew first class at the Foundation's expense and arrived three days early. Meals, lodging, and transportation for that foray cost $4,200. 

A spokesperson for the LSU Health Center said Hollier's expense account was intended to be used for "high-level faculty recruitment, team-building activities" and expenses connected with graduation exercises. 

Hollier's fat expense account wasn't his only perk. The LSU Board of Supervisors awarded $93,100 in scholarships to three of his grandkids. Hollier said he had nothing to do with those scholarship awards, and of course, I believe him.

Apparently, the LSU Health Foundation wasn't paying much attention to how Dr. Hollier was using his expensive account. That's puzzling because the Foundation has sixteen full-time employees.

Or maybe the Foundation had no idea that Dr. Hollier might use his charge card the way he did. But that can't be true because the Foundation experienced a similar expense-account scandal in 2009--thirteen years ago!

Let us never say that higher education doesn't pay off. It pays off handsomely for top-level university employees. Too often, however, it doesn't pay off for students.

Who says higher education doesn't pay off?