Monday, August 3, 2015

A UA president's house can become his castle

The cost of  house renovations is going up. That's particularly true when it's the University of Akron president's house, as you are about to see.

Karen Farkas of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported today that the bill has come to $950,000 so far.

University sources say some of the cost was covered by private donations.  Oh?  OK, let's have it.  Who are they?  Or in the  effort to rebrand, has the leadership forgotten that UA is a public entity.

As Farkas noted, UA officials said the repairs were much needed, having been neglected for 15 years.  Somehow, it's hard to believe that former president Luis Proenza, a fellow who always sought the very best, could have suffered such neglect  for so long.  But he didn't require the conversion of two bedrooms into a master suite for Scott Scarborough's  inlaws.

Farkas reported that Taylor Construction and Stathos construction "were paid a total of $375,000 for electrical, heating,  plumbing  and renovations including the conversion of two bedrooms into a master suite".

Lawrence Burns, the new UA vice president of advancement who, like Scarborough, came from the University of Toledo, attempted to justify the expenditures when  the university's internals were awash in debt..   Burns said the work was a 20-year investment.  In that case, perhaps the next' president's inlaws would also enjoy the updates without further investment .

Trustees chairman Jonathan Pavloff also approved the heavy spending, saying it would enhance  "university fund-raising and relationship building."

Relationship building?  Why do I feel that I'm  falling well behind in understanding such institutional terms?  My world turns  on leaky faucets and flickering light bulbs.

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