It’s not just football that wastes money — tho Rutgers football is no slouch. It goes through millions yearly with no apparent return other than a team vaunted for its mediocrity.
Trouble is, the whole university is a cash sieve.
The State Commission of Investigation — in its thorough report on higher education in New Jersey — documents that budgeting at Rutgers lacks transparency, flagrantly breaks rules, and indulges in cronyism.
For instance the Commission explicitly chides Rutgers for: “Questionable and undocumented travel, business and entertainment expenditures and structural impediments to budgetary accountability, oversight and transparency at Rutgers University.” (Page 2.)
It further notes (Page 6): “Lack of transparency and delays in fully responding to requests for data and information were notably acute at Rutgers University.”
In many respects, the Commission (on Page 30) describes accounting systems that seem downright Dickensian: “In areas particularly vulnerable to abuse, such as reimbursements for staff travel and entertainment, such records are based on paper and, are not electronically retrievable for review. The university does not even maintain an electronic database delineating its substantial real-estate
holdings, the date of their acquisition or the amounts and sources of funding involved in their purchase.”
The plot turns thick and ironic when the Commission documents that Kavanaugh Organization Planning was retained to clean up some of the bookkeeping mess — paid $126,000 plus $13,000 in expenses — and it recommended hiring a vice president for administrative affairs. And so Karen Kavanaugh, wife of the owner of KOP, was hired…and, lord do you believe in miracles, this very same Karen Kavanaugh had worked at the University of Washington as vice president of human resources…just when Dick McCormick was president there.
You have to read this surreal stuff yourself (Pages 31-33).
Kavanaugh was summarily appointed. Ask and it will be done in New Brunswick. Kavanaugh eventually left her post but she did pretty well. “In all, Kavanagh received more than $1 million in compensation, apart from the payments to her husband’s consulting firm, during the approximately three years of her personal employment association with Rutgers.” (Page 41.)
The Commission report goes on and on.
Our advice to students: when you are asked to pay yet more in tuition next year — and you will be — tear out some pages from the Commission’s report and indicate that you’d like comparable treatment.
Apparently Dick McCormick never says “no,” why should he start with you?