Zoffinger in the Targum

The renegade Board of Governor member has his say in today’s Targum.  He writes: As a member of the Board of Governors and the Chairman of the Audit Committee, I cannot in good conscience close my eyes to unsound financial practices. The stadium expansion project is being financed entirely with borrowed funds. It was rushed into with incomplete plans and a $30 million funding gap. We now find the costs are escalating and we are forced to make significant cuts in the project. Also, there is an increase in what we are borrowing from $72 million to $100 million. New Jersey public entities are in a league of their own when it comes to piling on the debt. I believe this borrowing needs to stop, and therefore opposed the project.

I also opposed for the second consecutive year the 8.5% tuition increase. This is the fifth consecutive year that tuition has increased at over twice the inflation rate….We must strive to keep Rutgers affordable….

The compelling issue is not athletics- IT IS THE PROPER GOVERNANCE OF THE UNIVERSITY. Have we all forgotten the lessons of the corporate scandals at Enron, Tyco, MCI, and others? As we live through the current credit crisis, would more diligence in financial controls have avoided much of the pain?

We agree with Zoffinger on these three points:

* There is no realistic repayment plan for the $100+ million stadium expansion.  None.  And that means you know who will get stuck with this tab.

* Current Rutgers students are getting shafted.  As athletics incurs ever greater losses — which Mulcahy III continues to hide from the Rutgers community — it is students who pay more and more in tuition and fees.

* Rutgers university governance is more opaque than the Juneau governor’s office.  The BoG, the president, the athletic department conspire at every step to hide pertinent facts from the public, including faculty, students and alums.  To them, we are mushrooms, to be kept in the dark and fed shit.

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