Presidential big spending ousts City College head
- Embattled City College of New York President Lisa Coico resigned last week, following months of federal scrutiny and campus criticism of her personal spending for housing, housing maintenance and other personal items.
- The New York Times reports in its ongoing investigation of the former president's usage of funds given to the university's foundation that receipts detailing the spending back to 2011 may have been fabricated in reports given to federal investigators; specifically a $20,000 housing deposit which was supposed to have been reimbursed to the institution.
- Funds that may have been improperly used by the president's office may have also come out of the university's research foundation, which could impede the institution's future eligibility for federal research funding.
Multiple surveys have detailed the rising costs of higher education, and the association of executive hiring and compensation as a key element in those increases. So it begs the question from many students, faculty and supporters: "Why is it never enough for some presidents?"
College and university executives should be cautious about this story in particular, because national stories about improper executive budget management can create copycat investigations in other states and campuses around the country. But more than this, it should motivate employees who average more than $430,000 in salary in the private sector to not live and budget with excess, and boards to be more careful about tracking travel, housing and foundation access from the early days of a presidential appointment.