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I’ve written alot about the fiscal mismanagement happening at SCSU. A prime example of the mismanagement is the lease President Potter signed with the J.A. Wedum Foundation, which I wrote about here. According to SCSU’s records, they’ve lost a fistful of money:

Coborn’s Plaza apartments have been a well-kept secret since they opened in the fall of 2010. Even getting accurate occupancy numbers during the first two years was difficult and only given in whispers with those hearing the secrets being sworn to secrecy. Some of that secrecy ended November 13, 2012 when Len Sippel, Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, released the list of approved funding for permanent investments that included $2,250,000 for the “Coborn’s Welcome Center.”

This eye-popping number actually covers the deficit for Coborn’s Plaza for the last two years so the loss only averages $1,125,000 per year. The amount of the loss for the first year for Coborn’s Plaza has never been shared with the Faculty Association or made public. As a result, one is left to imagine that it is even larger than the annual loss for the last two years. What has apparently been a tremendous deal for the Coborn’s Corporation and the J. A. Wedum Foundation has, without a doubt, been and will continue to be a financial boondoggle for SCSU.

That’s the headline waste of money by quite a bit. That said, this waste of money was brought to my attention by a faithful reader of this blog:

According to SCSU documents, Professor Tracey Ore is in charge of the SCSU Community Garden. Her salary is approximately $73,000 a year. Though I haven’t confirmed it because SCSU’s transparency is practically nonexistent, I’ve been told that 42% of Dr. Ore’s comp time is for the community garden.

Based on the looks of things, the SCSU Community Garden is a great success…if success is judged by bumper crops of weeds. I’d love hearing President Potter justify spending $30,000 a year on that community garden. Frankly, it’s a ripoff. The taxpayers, again, are getting stiffed by a president who isn’t setting the right priorities and who isn’t taking important issues seriously.

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6 Responses to “Our tax dollars at work?”

  • Huskypisser says:

    How about an SCSU community and partnership that actually cares about students’ success and their respective fields of study… Potter get off your pompous butt!

  • Dan Michaels says:

    I can’t tell who wrote this blog post because ther is no name or address cited but I would like to recommend they check into the “42% of comp time” “so I’ve been told” before reporting it as a fact. Comp time is where you change your schedule to work the same amount of hours in a different manner. If you mean release time then I believe that is that portion of your time released from teaching duties but all other duties such as committee and department meetings , research and publication, student advising, community service, etc, are still in effect.

    My main point in posting, however, is to object that the gardens are weed patches. While all the labor is volunteer, neither garden is overrun with weeds and are instead a shining and beautiful example of what organized cooperative gardens can look like. The writer has obviously never seen them. Not only does this supply food for people but it is also a valuable learning tool, gathering spot, and outlet for the students and benefits them in many ways.

  • Gary Gross says:

    The pictures tell the story of whether it’s weed-infested. Hint: it is. As to your other point about comp or release time, that might have merit because I’m not up on contract terminology.

  • Patrick-M says:

    Dan Michaels
    What does an “organized cooperative garden” have to do with the STEM mission of SCSU? Does the garden bring as many students to SCSU as did a nationally accredited, revenue generating academic program which DeGroote, Maholtra and Potter closed based on made-up ‘data and facts’? That piece of land would better serve students, staff and faculty as a parking lot!

  • Jethro says:

    In the past, the community garden was weed infested. In the interest of transparency, it would be interesting to see if Professor Ore has kept a running log of the volunteers for the garden. After all, part of her salary covers her time to oversee the garden. Patrick M is right – how does the garden attract students to SCSU? In light of declining enrollments, paying someone to watch a garden for several months a year with taxpayer dollars is highly questionable.

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