Sunday, August 18, 2013

Example of How Corruption in Universities is Not Just Limited to Athletics – UCLA Dean Gets to Fly First Class for Medical Reasons

From Paul Caron’s Wonderful Tax Prof Blog

The corruption of American colleges and universities that this Forum has long since illustrated is certainly one of the leading causes of American decline in world economic and political leadership.  The athletics issue has been well documented, but much less public is the abuse by bloated administrative staffs at public and private colleges. 

Case in point is an article posted by Paul Caron who has one of the best Blogs out there, the Tax Prof Blog.  It seems that UCLA adopted a policy of forbidding its administrators from flying on first class or business class, you know, to save money and maybe keep tuition affordable.

Thirteen years ago, the University of California changed its ban on flying business or first class on the university’s dime, adding a special exception for employees with a medical need.

What happened next was entirely predictable.

What followed at UCLA was an acute outbreak of medical need.

But let’s be charitable here, maybe administrators at UCLA do have medical issues.  Or maybe not.

Over the past several years, six of 17 academic deans at the Westwood campus routinely have submitted doctors’ notes stating they have a medical need to fly in a class other than economy, costing the university $234,000 more than it would have for coach-class flights, expense records show.

One of these deans, Judy Olian of the Anderson School of Management, has at least twice tackled the arduous 56-mile cycling leg of the long course relay at Monterey County’s Wildflower Triathlon, according to her expense records and race results. She described herself in a 2011 Los Angeles Times profile as a “cardio junkie.”

With a medical waiver granted by UCLA, however, she has an expense account that regularly includes business-class travel. She spends more on airfare and other travel expenses per year than any other UCLA dean or the chancellor, and she also far outpaces her counterpart at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

What else does this handicapped Dean do?  We don’t know, but sitting in on the classes in Ethics is something everyone is pretty sure she does not do.

The explosion in administrators and administrative costs in higher education has been well documented.  And one can easily see the point of people like Dean Olian that the taxpayers and the students ought to pay for her first class travel and her multitude of assistants and clerks.  After all she needs to save her strength for the Triathalon.

No comments:

Post a Comment