How much is too much for presidential travel costs?
- Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard is the latest institutional executive to face questions about the costs and occurrences of work-related travel, amassing more than $160,000 in receipts since 2013.
- Pollard, who receives allowances for her car and home along with an armed detail, is being criticized for averaging more than 13 trips annually to conferences and meetings throughout the country.
- In a statement, trustees and county elected officials supported the costs as a necessary price for enhancing the campus' visibility and maintaining transparency.
Most campus leaders who are not prolific fundraisers or celebrity presidents known for scholarship, writing or thought leadership will be questioned for their travel expenditures. With tight budgets and shrinking appropriations, many students view the expenses as an additional benefit, while executives classify the costs as a traditional part of attracting and maintaining a good president.
Most presidents and boards can do a better job of outlining and exposing presidential travel to offer more detail about the reasons for such, and to assure stakeholders that moving about the country is part of a strategic effort to earn more resources beyond the campus borders, and with long-term goals in mind.