Thanks to Silence Dogood’s article, we have a better perspective on President Potter’s incompetence. When it comes to managing SCSU’s finances wisely, President Potter would get an F. That isn’t to say that he’s gotten everything wrong. It’s saying that he’s gotten a bunch of important things badly wrong, starting with the lease he signed with the Wedum Foundation. That’s on track to lose $7,700,000 in its first 5 years in existence.
Despite losing millions of dollars on that initiative, President Potter publicly insists that the initiative is a success. It’s impossible for honest people to insist that something that’s lost millions of dollars a year from its start is a success. The good news for President Potter is that he isn’t honest, which makes it easier for him to make statements like that.
Another example of President Potter’s incompetence is the $12,000,000 deficit SCSU is expected to run for this fiscal year. Last June, SCSU announced that they would have a deficit. Back then, the deficit was only projected to be $3,000,000. At one of the first Budget Advisory Committee meetings last fall, that deficit was revised upward to $9,000,000. Now it’s estimated to top $12,000,000. Thankfully, FY2015 is almost in the books.
I’m tired of watching incompetents like President Potter foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money on frivolous things. The things listed above don’t represent a comprehensive list of President Potter’s financial transgressions. A comprehensive list of President Potter’s mistakes would require a ton more bandwidth.
Then there’s President Potter’s futility in turning around enrollment. When the subject comes up, President Potter’s response is that all MnSCU universities’ enrollments are down, which is fairly close to true. What President Potter hasn’t admitted is that SCSU’s enrollment decline isn’t just 1 or 2 years long. It’s been dropping since FY2011. It’s now FY2015. FY2016 starts on July 1, 2016. There’s no end in sight.
What’s especially frustrating is that MnSCU’s Board of Trustees haven’t notice SCSU’s calamity. Few politicians have either. The MnSCU Board of Trustees haven’t given parents and other taxpayers much to hope about. Their indifference towards SCSU’s financial mismanagement signals that they don’t take their oversight responsibilities seriously. If the Trustees, especially high profile trustees like Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, the former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, and Phil Krinkie, the former chairman of the Taxpayers League, won’t take this mismanagement crisis seriously, then there’s no reason to think that they’ll take anything seriously.
Anderson-Kelliher never took financial oversight seriously so I’ll give her a partial pass on President Potter’s mismanagement. It isn’t like the DFL has set the bar high in terms of protecting the taxpayers’ wallets.
Krinkie, on the other hand, initially set the bar high. Since getting defeated in 2006, though, he’s been indifferent about being the taxpayers’ watchdog. That’s putting it politely, Phil. It isn’t ok to let people like President Potter continue to steal the taxpayers’ money. That’s gotta stop ASAP. Period.