A Nearly Million-Dollar Upgrade

by Jane S. Shaw

Response To...

Can He Do It?

The home of University of Akron president Scott Scarborough has been refurbished at a cost of $950,000 – an upgrading that includes a new suite for his in-laws. Scarborough, who has been president about a year, has been stressing cost cuts to cover a $60 million shortfall over the next three years.

And $950,000 is a lot of money, even though the house needed work. “Little had been done during the 15 years former President Luis Proenza lived in it,” writes Karen Farkas of the Ohio Media Group.

Presidential homes are often a subject of criticism – probably because they represent an expense that is visible, personal, and easily quantifiable. (As most of our readers are aware, university expenditures are generally opaque.)

To put the $950,000 in perspective, at North Carolina State, Chancellor Randy Woodson moved into a new $3.5 million home in 2011.

However, Woodson has been bringing in money like mad—such as a $70 million federal grant, the largest in the school’s history. In contrast,  Scarborough just fired 161 employees.