84K? Who is the real victim here?
By popular demand, we have been asked to post a summary of what is the deal with that loan. Not everyone seems to understand what might be wrong in this situation.
It all starts with just simply getting permission:
1. We all have bosses at our jobs. Even the president. The Board of Governors is the president’s boss. We can’t just help ourselves to the employer’s cash without asking first, and neither can a president.
2. Having a plan to repay the employer’s cash is no substitute for having permission from the boss to take it in the first place.
3. Having a good reason to take the employer’s cash is no substitute for having permission from the boss to take it in the first place.
4. Having an expense account is no substitute for having permission from the boss to take even more cash.
5. Getting permission from somebody else in some government agency is no substitute for having permission from the boss.
Without permission, it all got much more complicated and went downhill:
6. It is an abuse of power to have someone you have direct authority over (like someone you supervise, could discipline or promote) break the usual finance rules, take the employer’s cash without permission, and give it to you.
7. It is an even more serious abuse of power to get them to hide it from others who should know, including the boss.
8. If someone makes a promise to repay a loan, they really do need to pay back in full and on time, as promised.
9. Retaliating against whistleblowers is not only bullying, it is against the law.
Public service requires respect:
10. There are special expectations of presidents in the public sector. Presidents have to be seen to act at all times in the best interests of the institution and the public.
11. Remember college money comes from taxpayer dollars and student tuition. Presidents have to be above reproach in how public assets are used, which is why all the finance and conflict of interest rules, etc. Not being transparent or open or dutiful in caring for that money is a breach of trust.
12. There are thousands of students, hundreds of employees, and many urban communities that depend on the college having a great reputation. Who doesn’t put that first?
This document was presented to the VCC Board of Governors at the June 29, 2015 meeting.