CCNY probe expands to include potential alumni fund fraud
- An investigation of former City College of New York President Lisa Coico has expanded from a review of improper payments made from the school's foundation for personal expenses to now include potential funds made from an alumni fund.
- The New York Times offers a timeline of the executive controversy and the financial ramifications it has created for the college, which was recently cited in research as a catalyst for social mobility in the city for its students.
- Legal officials have criticized the City University of New York System as "ripe for abuse," while CCNY trustees have pledged an aggressive approach to internal reforms and a search for Coico's replacement.
It is not uncommon for college presidents to face scrutiny over spending practices; frequently new leaders are not familiar with state and federal statutes on what constitutes legitimate funding for presidential housing upgrades intended to broker more engagement with donors, construction projects, or travel in the name of fundraising or executive networking. Boards and general counsel should work closely with presidents to help them understand these guidelines, and to embrace their role as careful stewards of good financial practices.
Presidents without good understanding of the rules can operate like private company CEOs, but in the public eye, there are different expectations from stakeholders and the general public on how campus leaders behave, even in necessary activities to advance their campuses.
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